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. Somalia, the tuth about

    I'm angry at Americans who pretend that they don't know about how Somalias oil comes here, rather than benifitting Somalian citizens. It reminds me of Oscar Schindler [most know for the movie "Shindlers List"] when he said that most Germans were well aware of the death camps, but were too afraid to say anything about it. Disgusting really.

    September 20, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • [Citation Needed]

      .[Citation Needed]

      September 20, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • markjuliansmith

      When 'Fiction' becomes 'Truth' = Faith

      September 21, 2011 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  2. Somalia, the tuth about

    ...and I'm upset about how people laugh about it. That really disgusts me. There is no humor to be found anywhere in the history of Africas raypeing...from slaves to oil, even diamonds. Yet somehow we have some very sick individuals even here that thinks it's funny, till it happens to them @14.

    September 20, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • [Citation Needed]

      [Citation Needed]

      September 20, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Profile of an enabler

    Repeats 'citation' even in her sleep.

    September 20, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • [Citation Needed]

      Inflammatory Material. [Citation Needed] BS Alarm Going Off.

      September 20, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Death On Two Legs

    Chevy Citation? Who does that?

    September 20, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jenna21

    I find it sad that these so called "Sheikhs" are fighting and "defending" a religion that is not even native to their country!!!!

    September 20, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. soley

    It is a shame to see brain less people using children , why not give them some grain to cultivate the soil , or a pen and a book. One day they will rise against you .

    September 21, 2011 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
  7. nighttalk

    Ak's and grenades?...and I was given a mechanical lead pencil in fifth grade for reciting the Gettysburg address!...a blue one incidentally...

    September 21, 2011 at 7:29 am | Report abuse |
  8. banasy©

    Ah, nighttalk, but can you still recite it?
    Blue is pretty.

    I was given 'Holy Cards'. I still have some.
    Given what I know today, a gun might be better...

    September 21, 2011 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
  9. banasy©

    Markjuliansmith: lol

    September 21, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ruun

    I am Somali,what happening to us is very strange,although my people blaming the others for this unhealthy life, I am person sees every thing happening is because some of us,I really don't know why they are doing what they do to their life,ours and our beautiful land,nevertheless i can lose my hope-Americans or whoever less they are human being and the cant harm us unless we give them the chance,so fool on you who ever believe that America is the cause of our foolishness

    September 21, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      I was part of operation restore hope in somalia in 1993 and
      Met many older somalis' that said the same as u just did, that it was once an educational hub with colleges untill the civil war, and that somalians did this to thiernown country

      September 23, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. dr abdirahman

    action action it is good or not ask for your selves .

    September 21, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Max brooks

    No one cares if they kill each other . We get upset when they kill one of us.

    September 23, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. trainwreck

    I could see the same thing in the US with Bibles and rifles..even hating their government sounds like our right wingers

    September 23, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Notislam

    There is no limit to the vileness of islam.

    September 23, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. GsySgtHartman

    Even 3rd place is the bomb.

    September 23, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
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