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. Richard

    CNN's source for this "news" is the website, "RBX Radio,"

    On their website they say: " is subject to the following terms of use: ...Neither we nor any third parties provide any warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy, timeliness, performance, completeness or suitability of the information and materials found or offered on for any particular purpose. You acknowledge that such information and materials may contain inaccuracies or errors and we expressly exclude liability for any such inaccuracies or errors to the fullest extent permitted by law."

    CNN, you re-published their "story" with that inflammatory headline. CNN, in your mindless hysteria for ratings you have become a journalistic joke.

    September 20, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really????

      SHut up

      September 20, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bimbo the Birthday Clown

      Are you saying that it didn't happen, or that it did happen but it's not so bad?

      September 20, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Sam

    I see nothing wrong with this. Exactly how old are these "teens"? 19? 18? Perfectly legal to own a rifle at that age in most states. Funny how the media will twist a story to fill it's own agenda. So how old were these teens CNN?

    September 20, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      They were 12 and 13. Still think it's funny or cute?

      September 20, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      Giving teenagers grenades? Awarding weapons for a religious contest? Please get out of my country and do humanity a favor, never reproduce.

      September 20, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really????

      Really Sam???? Where is your sense of decency??? Giving teenagers AK 47 Rifles and Grenades????? I think YOU dear Sam need a reality check.

      September 20, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • EC

      I know we are not comparing hunting rifles and assualt rifles.........Thats like saying a pet cat and a pet tiger are the same.

      September 20, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Guest

    That is seriously messed up.

    September 20, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Eazy E

    All you foo's be trippin' n sh!t.

    September 20, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really????

      How about translating that into English for us

      September 20, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. j

    True islam at work...

    September 20, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. fred bazzeeda

    The so called, Religion of Peace. Guns and God. Yeap, the religion of peace. I believe that one. Yes sir.

    September 20, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ernie

    If the NRA had such a contest, first it would be a sporting rifle, 2nd it would be under the supervision of the young persons parent, 3rd never would killing people with it be imagined. P.S. I am the NRA & I vote!

    September 20, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. banasy©

    Oops, bobcat2u, I accidently put your name in as MY u/n.
    Forgive me.

    @bobcat2u: You forgot the sarcasm font

    September 20, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. bobcat2u


    Yeah, I thought one of the trolls got me for a minute.
    I really didn't think I would have to specify sarcasm. Shows to go ya.
    So how you been ? I've been out of touch the last few days and don't know whats been goin on.

    September 20, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  10. banasy©


    Ah, same old, same old.
    Nothing much...just rather enjoying the sunny weather here before it goes away.

    How about yourself?
    Everything ducky with you and your family?

    September 20, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bimbo the Birthday Clown

    Off topic a bit, but I just changed cable providers and I now have al-Jazeera with my "News Package." I watched for about 5 minutes out of curiosity. I haven't been so infuriated in a long time. I was up yelling at the TV, shaking my fist, kicking over the coffee table, etc. Apparently Israel and the USA are evil. Everything that is going wrong over there is your fault, and Israel's. But mostly yours. The Arabs get no blame for their own problems.

    And that is the so-called moderate Arab network. Hard to be hopeful for the future, that's all I can say.

    September 20, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Hashim

    For more insight on developments in this part of the world read the novel - king of Bat'ha.

    September 20, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  13. timestickin

    whats next,,,, showing how to tie explosives to your friends chest and go through a airport for a some good& plentys?? crazyyyyy..

    September 20, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  14. banasy©


    Oh, I know, I know. I watched it once...had to turn it off because my blood pressure soared.

    September 20, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Charly

    Are we supposed to be surprised by this? The Koran being linked to guns and violence? Go figure!

    September 20, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
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