Somali teens earn guns in Quran recitation contest
Somali children play with toy guns in Mogadishu last month.
September 20th, 2011
11:25 AM ET

Somali teens earn guns in Quran recitation contest

Three Somali teenagers who won a Quran recitation contest have been rewarded with weapons and cash by the Islamist group Al-Shabaab, according to reports from Somalia.

The first-place winner was awarded an AK-47 rifle and $700, a report from RBC Radio said. Second place was worth an AK-47 and $500, and third place got two grenades and $400, RBC reported. Winners also received religious books.

The contest was organized by Al-Shabaab-controlled Radio Andalus, the report said.

At an awards ceremony in the Mogadishu neighborhood of Elasha, Al-Shabaab leaders urged the teenage winners to use their weapons.

“We want the children to fight for defending of their country and their religion ...  just take these guns,” Sheikh Moktar Robow abu Mansur, a senior Al-Shabaab leader, is quoted as saying. That means battling the Somali government and African Union peacekeeping troops in the country, according to the RBC report.

Pictures of the event have been posted on the RBC website and on an Al-Shabaab-affiliated website.

Al-Shabaab is a radical al Qaeda-linked group challenging Somalia's central government, fighting an endless civil war, and forcing a strict form of Sharia law on local residents.

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Filed under: Somalia
soundoff (180 Responses)
  1. ketsui

    hell yeah thats a contest!

    September 20, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  2. stevie68a

    This is just like our country, where "guns and god" is thought of as a good thing. End the delusion of religion, and have a
    more peaceful world.

    September 20, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  3. Scottish Mama

    The new recruited terrorist essay contest?

    September 20, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • moji jefferson

      freedom fighters perhaps? Unlike the catholic terrorists in ireland

      September 20, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy©

    This is so wrong in so many ways.....

    September 20, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  5. trackmagicvq

    This makes me furious. No wonder the world hates muslims; most of us aren't like this, but its the few that constantly do gun contests that ruin it for all of us.

    September 20, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Davethecanuck

      Right, gun contests... that there is what's giving the muslim community a black eye.

      September 20, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. moji jefferson

    And which big western country brought these weapons to Somalia for geopolitical strategies to maintain kapitalism...?

    September 20, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • ketsui

      yeah the US is the only country in the world that makes weapons! we make them in hollywood too along with movies and have santa deliver them to the rest of the world. idiot

      September 20, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  7. bobcat2u

    Winning essay went something like this : When I was five years old, my daddy gave me an american flag and a match. I looked at both items and tried to decide what I supposed to do with them. Well I lit the match and set fire to the flag. When I did that, my daddy was so proud of me that I knew right then and there it was the right thing to do. Well, to this day I hate america. I have no idea why, but that is what my daddy expects.

    Abdhulaa Boola Boola

    September 20, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Evans Taylor

      Sad thing is this is true and Americans will never see little kids throwing grenades at you in combat, someone teaches hate, that's how we know we were in or close to bad neighborhoods in Iraq, but then next city block they throw flowers and bread, crazy?

      September 20, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bimbo the Birthday Clown

    It's not often in journalism that you can say "the headline says it all."

    But in this case...........the headline says it all.

    And now I wait for all the peaceful muslims to denounce this.....................................................................................

    September 20, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Bobaluchowdury

    4th place won a suicide vest

    September 20, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat2u

      And a handbook explaining about the rivers of honey and 72 virgins.

      September 20, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bimbo the Birthday Clown

      72 is not many, when you consider how long eternity is.

      September 20, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat2u



      September 20, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bimbo the Birthday Clown

    @moji, I assume you are being sarcastic, but in case you are not:

    1) The AK-47 is a Russian made weapon. China and Pakistan also make knock-offs.

    2) The IRA laid down their arms years ago. I don't recall them ever giving guns to kids when they were active.

    September 20, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • moji jefferson

      Ofc im sarcastic.. What about the real ira? My uncle in there still active. The muslim brotherhood in afghanistan got ak47s too from the us to fight the russiabs back then. Irony :p

      September 20, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Helena

    If the NRA had a gun winning essay contest, you'd all be claiming they're exercising the second amendment. Stop the hypocrisy.

    September 20, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bimbo the Birthday Clown

      I wouldn't. But don't go by me, I'm Canadian.

      Also, does the NRA advocate gun use by teenagers, or grenade use by anyone?

      September 20, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Davethecanuck

      I think a more apt comparison would be if the Westboro Baptist church had the "essay contest".

      September 20, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  12. John

    Religion of PEACE!!!

    September 20, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. John

    @bobcat2u – these are children not adults. Also a grenade for 3rd place? Get over yourself and your false religion...

    September 20, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat2u

      What the hell you talking about John ? Have you ever heard of humor ? I guess you've mistakenly assumed I am of the muslim faith ? How did you come up with that conclusion ?

      Hey banasy, Bimbo, and scottish mama , John here obviously thinks I'm a muslim terrorist. That is just to funny. He must be a new poster.

      September 20, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Helena

    @Bimbo, is 18 not a teenager? And I never said anything about grenades. My post was about the gun component.

    September 20, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. tim

    My teacher said they might be needing them to go deer hunting. Kids are starving over there. They might get a 12 pointer or some rabbits for supper. Who are we to judge?

    September 20, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • DebK

      That's nice that you and your teacher able to get high together.

      September 20, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bimbo the Birthday Clown

      I hope to God your teacher isn't hunting deer and rabbits with grenades.

      September 20, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • curious jim

      don't think they have deer in that area of the world, least not with the daught. More likely they gona use those weapons to hold up food handouts or take food from others.

      September 23, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
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