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. narfzort

    ah, reality. could it get any more perverse and ironic?

    September 20, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • k

      this is so absurd I about we give them 1-nuke to share and they all gather round to poke the button.

      September 20, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. 4th place winner

    I got 4th place and nothing. They couldnt even hook me up with a hand gun. Don't worry I will try again next year

    September 20, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amit-Atlanta-USA

      You were probably NOT great at memorizing those verses dealing with lesser mortals!

      September 20, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. bandstraw

    We all heard of what one terrorist mother said to another after her kids had grown and gone... "Alas, they blow up so fast"...

    September 20, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. McShmoonz

    Hmm... Last time I checked AK-47s were manufactured in Russia.

    September 20, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • k

      Actually yes and no...other countries produce more now.

      September 20, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Amit-Atlanta-USA

    We can't blame the's all AMERICAN POLICIES and lack of opportunities (again America is responsible!) that's to blame for this kind of behaviour.......that's what Mr. FAREED ZAKARIA will say!

    September 20, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amit-Atlanta-USA

      What will Mr. Zakaria want us to do.......Let's pump in a few billions in aid, import a few 100's of thousands and build bridges between the Muslim world & America.


      September 20, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Anon

    Pure and utter insanity. There goes the religion of peace again.

    September 20, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • McCarthy

      There goes morons attaching Islam to terrorism again! Mostly cause they're gullible enough to believe CNNs hype but still...

      September 20, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. phunk

    How is this any different than something the Tea Party might advocate? Seriously??

    September 20, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • petercha

      Last time I checked, phunk, the Tea Party does NOT advocate islamic terrorism. Attend a Tea Party rally sometime and get an education outside of what the anti-conservative media rams down your throat.

      September 20, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Duane

    Killing the people with AK-47 is not the answer. Love and respect develop the peaceful unity between the two enemies. This is what God wants to see. AK-47 should be banned.

    September 20, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. DebK

    Sure beats having to save up 75 Capt'n Crunch box tops for an Oscar Meyer weenie whistle.

    September 20, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. TheHuman

    Of course after they read the Quran they need to practice. That is what the guns are for

    September 20, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. bobcat2u


    You forgot the sarcasm font.

    September 20, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Iron Warrior

    Uh,moji? AK-47's are EASTERN bloc weapons and have been in Somalia for years,provided by the old Soviet Union either directly or through friendly Arab and Affrican nations. Look up your history.

    September 20, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. petercha

    Ah the religion of peace is at it again. Why am I not surprised.

    September 20, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Isa

    We are looking at reaction, we need to look carefully at our action that set muslim world against us; may be we can learn something, and change our arogant way.

    September 20, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. jimmy

    Maybe these kids are training to be pirates. They say being a Somali Pirate is a big deal over there. They may even be butt pirates.

    September 20, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
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