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. Latif

    America cant talk about terrorism because they have more in their country than anywhere else. Solve your own racial,gang,and thug problems before you falsely accuse other countries

    September 23, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • boskoo

      Those lovable muslims again. What great people. When do the suicide belts get handed out?????

      September 24, 2011 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • boskoo

      We did some of that the other day with the davis pest control thing.

      September 24, 2011 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Oh yeah?

      Yes, we CAN talk, we WILL talk, and there's NOTHING you can do about it. Suck it up, loser.

      September 29, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      Latif is right. This is a country of freedom, so why can't people in other countries be free? Like free to give AK47s and grenades to kids. I don't see the problem. I'm sure Latif regularly got grenades in his Christmas stocking and got an AK47 for his sweet 6th birthday. And he hardly killed anybody, not counting the neighbors' pets and his annoying aunt.

      October 3, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • P

      I absolutely agree with you. We need to take care of our own people first.

      October 4, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shawn

      If it were only so simple. In the name of humanity, stopping Islamists is a global responsibility.

      October 5, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. tee girl

    Islam is said to be a religion of peace but I am yet to understand the peace islam represent. Guns as gift to teenagers? That's wrong. And pls muslims,stop blaming others for your actions,the fact dat the guns were designed in Russia and China does not mean you should purchase it
    A horse can be forced to d river side but can never be forced to drink water.ponder on this.

    September 23, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sabri

      All i can say as a muslim is that this in not islam or related to it. If they did giv guns as prizes, they r misusing the name of muslim. Plz undrstand that this is nvr encouraged in my religion. We cannot use guns lyk this according to islam. And true muslims wont do tat. Any act of terrorism, killing innocent people and even guilty people is not allowed in islam. Even if a man is found guilty of murder thr r are so many procedures to be followed to find if he is guilty and even then the victims family r encouraged to pardon him. If they r terrorist activities in the name of islam please undrstand that islam as a religion has nothing to do wit it. Those doing such acts wil one day die and meet their lord and face the punishment. Terrorism is not in islam. Plz undrstand tat!

      September 24, 2011 at 2:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      You know what? You can say every time "this doesn't represent Islam" but it's ringing hollow. If this wasn't a representation of Islam why are these things so common? Why did this contest happen and no one in the area complained? Obviously this IS Islam.

      September 26, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anonymous

      I see no problem with that, In then US Army recruiters begin recruiting kids as young as 14 and 15 through so called
      "High school recruitment Programs
      "

      October 5, 2011 at 6:08 am | Report abuse |
  3. EA

    Al Shabaab do not represent the religion of Islam. Their actions do not represent the beliefs or teachings of the religion. The Al Shabaab may claim to follow "sharia law", which is a term that is extremely misused by the western media, however that does not mean that their claims are true. If a militant group decides to claim that they are strict followers of the 10 comandments, that should be held againtst the group, not against the Christianity. An article like this was written for no other purpose but to send a simple ignorant message; trying to creat a correlation between Quran and guns, unfortunately a lot of people are easily brainswashed by such subjective articles and news coverage.

    September 23, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shawn

      You state: "An article like this was written for no other purpose but to send a simple ignorant message; trying to creat a correlation between Quran and guns..."

      Nice try...blaming CNN meanwhile it's Al-Shabaab creating the correlation between the Qur'an and guns. I guess CNN isn't allowed to write about Al Shabaab in your world then. Let's pretend these sick people don't exist. Is that easier for you or do you want to continue bashing everyone else but the true responsible parties for Islam's negative press? You go more into taking a swipe at everyone else than you do taking one at Al-Shabaab. What's wrong with this picture. It seems like you're in denial, don't know Islam or have an agenda. Based on your response, I think you're in denial and just looking to place blame and criticize Islam's critics. Boo hoo. Why don't you muster up an intelligent response that deals with the matter rather than attack the readers?

      The term Sharia Law isn't misused by Western media either. Face it, there are some pretty messed up things within Sharia Law but it's important to remember that Sharia Law isn't the same everywhere. Regardless, it's still a term used to describe Sharia Law. There's no way around this just as there isn't a way around the fact that Al-Shabaab says they're Muslims. You do a great job at playing the victim but you fail to address the problem (besides blaming CNN or comparing Christians).

      October 5, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. uramoron

    Our thugs gangs and racial issues dont end with someone blowing up a building full of innocent bystanders. They usually just kill themselves thus doing us all a favor. You on the other hand just need one good nuke to clean the world of your disgusting allah filth..

    September 24, 2011 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
  5. Drogo, who bit the dust

    Where ever the former British Empire existed expect this type of behavior.

    September 24, 2011 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
  6. Mauser

    Screw the religious freaks,It is high time the world eradicates religion in politics and religious extremism, it is the 21st century,time to eradicate and move on!

    September 24, 2011 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
  7. Mike

    This is a group of people who is using the name of the quran to promote their own crazy ideas Islam is a peacefull religion in normal contest kids would get scoolarships not guns

    September 24, 2011 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Elaine Evans

      Islam is NOT a peaceful religion. There is much talk about Jihad in the Koran. There are chopping off of fingers, killing of daughters who flirt or become too Westernized, stoning of women who are adulterers, and killing of those who want to convert to another religion.

      September 24, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  8. Mike

    Schoolarships sorry

    September 24, 2011 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
  9. john

    There are extemist in every religion. Most religions talk of nothing but peace. Some people are just brainwashed while young.

    September 24, 2011 at 5:31 am | Report abuse |
    • ytuque

      John, Obviously you don't follow current events and haven't read the koran.

      September 24, 2011 at 6:28 am | Report abuse |
  10. just john

    Islam is worst than christianity because mohamed was bitter and evil while christ was peaceful but the old testament is similar to islam. Both religions hurt humanity.

    September 24, 2011 at 6:01 am | Report abuse |
    • trainwreck

      the religious right of the US is as Christian as these guys are Muslim...which is not at al

      September 24, 2011 at 7:39 am | Report abuse |
  11. chadmanster

    all i have to say about the ak-47 is that it is the most wide used rifle in the world our gangz in america use them we even used them in nam cause we got stuck with m-16 and some of our troops used them cause m-16 sucked back then but really would it make a diff if they had our m4 or even a m-14 or a any gun at all they shouldnt of gotten any thing like that being 19 18 thats just not right there should be a thing called gun controll

    September 24, 2011 at 6:03 am | Report abuse |
  12. mikefarris

    what do they get after reading the quran

    September 24, 2011 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
  13. John

    Its Bushes fault he should have nuked them 10 years ago

    September 28, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. InfidelHere

    INo Surprise here...Islamic militants, radicals, extremists, jihadist, fundamentalists, or whatever the press calls them today, are in fact “good” Muslims, not bad ones. The jihadists haven't corrupted Islam, hijacked their religion, nor interpreted it incorrectly, and therefore they aren't radicals or extremists. Islam isn't a peaceful religion; it is a declaration of war against ALL mankind. While “bad” Muslims can be “moderate”, “not-muslm-enough” and peaceful, they have ZERO influence because guess what?...the Koran tells these “good” Muslims to KILL them first!

    October 4, 2011 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  15. Kuwait_999

    Islam is a religion of Peace?

    I gave up on the false religion and the child rapist Muhamad

    October 4, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
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