The Road AheadThe Islamic gold dinar [Archives:2003/637/Business & Economy]

May 26 2003

Raidan Al-Saqqaf
In order to minimize dependency on US Dollar; Malaysia will be using the golden Dinar in its international trade transactions with other Muslim nations before the end of this year, as a step to push the new currency (Islamic Dinar) to be the currency adopted by the Islamic countries in their inter-transactions in order to increase the number of trade transactions between Islamic countries and enhance their economic development.
The idea came from Professor Omar Ibrahim Fadillo, founder of the Morabeteen International Organization. According to him; Islamic unity can only be established after the economic unity, coordination and cooperation between the Islamic nations. In addition to that, the important thing behind this concept is that it denotes a symbol from the Islamic history, and adjusting it with today's international trade operations, symbolizes the real power of Islamic concepts especially while encouraging boycotting of American products, and to limit the influence of the American dollar.
The success of the gold Dinar as a unified Islamic currency is dependent on three factors: (a) the level of demand for the golden Dinar as a currency, (b) the number of trade transactions between countries dealing in this currency, and (c) the intensity of economic cooperation and coordination between Islamic countries.
Islamic countries will benefit in many ways from implementing this new currency project, most important of which is that these countries need not have enormous foreign currencies reserves. On the other hand, it is sad to point out that the insignificant amount of trade and economic cooperation between Arab and Muslim nations, knowing that the overall total production of all the Arab countries is less than that of Spain.
Indeed, this is a very hard time for the Arab world, especially after the war on Iraq; each country now has its own foreign policy and follows its own road, not towards Arab unity but towards its own individual interests. This demonstrates the weaknesses of our nations. We have no shared strategies for the region or future plans with our neighboring Arab and Muslim countries, we are in a sad position lacking in the teamwork required for both short and long term survival.
However, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad understands the magnitude of the situation; his attempt to create a united Islamic market using one currency, which is the gold Islamic Dinar, is praiseworthy. The system is built on the idea that the Islamic governments keep the gold in a central bank and use it in settling their commercial dealings between each other. Mr. Mahathir has also conducted in 2002 bilateral talks with several Islamic countries, including Bahrain, Libya, Morocco and Iran, in order to convince them to use the Islamic Dinar as a way of payment in their commercial dealings with Malaysia. Now the ball is in our court; whether Mahathir's attempt is to succeed or fail, that depends on our governments.
Endnote: The Islamic golden Dinar can increase the amount of trade between Muslim countries; in fact, it can create a strong fund unity that helps our economic position.