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Islamic State group says it’ll mint its own coins

Maamoun Youssef Associated Press

CAIRO (AP) — The leader of the Islamic State group has ordered the terror organization to start minting gold, silver and copper coins for its own currency — the Islamic dinar.

A website affiliated with the group posted the order late Thursday, saying IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi instructed his followers to mint the coins to “change the tyrannical monetary system” modelled on Western economies that “enslaved Muslims.”

The order was approved by the Islamic State group’s Shura Council, an advisory board, according to the website. The authenticity of the posting could not be independently verified but the website has been used in the past for IS postings.

After seizing large swaths of Iraqi and Syrian territory earlier this year, the Islamic State group proclaimed a caliphate on lands under its control. It has also sought to implement its harsh interpretation of Islamic law, or Sharia, and al-Baghdadi has proclaimed himself the caliph.

According to photographs of coin prototypes, they carry the words in Arabic: “The Islamic State / A Caliphate Based on the Doctrine of the Prophet.”

It’s unclear where the Islamic State group intends to get the gold, silver and copper for the coins. It said the dinar’s purchasing power would be its weight in gold, silver or copper.

One of the gold coins carries the symbol of seven stalks of wheat, mentioned in the Quran, while another has the map of the world, a reference to Islam someday ruling the entire world.

One of the silver coins shows a sword and a shield in a reference to holy war, or jihad while another has a minaret symbolizing Damascus mentioned in one of the Prophet Muhammad’s sayings.

Another coin carries the symbol of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, where the Prophet prayed. It’s revered as Islam’s third-holiest place, complete with the site’s iconic gold-topped Dome of the Rock, which enshrines the rock from which Muslims believe the Prophet ascended to heaven.

The copper coins carry the symbol of the crescent moon and three palm trees, also significant in Islam.

The posting said instructions from the Islamic State’s treasury department would be forthcoming, explaining to the people how to use the currency.

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