Recite the Koran, win guns and grenades

Recite the Koran, win guns and grenades September 20, 2011

AN ISLAMIST-backed  radio station in Somalia has awarded prizes of assault rifles and hand grenades to children who entered a Koran-reciting contest.

According to a report in the Guardian today, Andalus radio, run by al-Shabaab militia, said that the first prize was an AK-47 and £450. The runner-up received an AK-47 and £320, while the child who came third received two F1 hand grenades and £250.

The three children also received religious books.

Pictures of the senior Islamist leader and spokesman Sheikh Mukhtar Robow presenting the awards were posted on a rebel-affiliated website. Photograph:

Al-Shabaab controls much of southern Somalia and is trying to overthrow the transitional government in Mogadishu. Designated a terrorist organisation by several western governments, the group has links to al-Qaida and practises an extreme version of Islam.

The report says that n certain areas the hard-line Islamist leaders have banned musical ringtones, films, football broadcasts, dancing at weddings and even shop signs written in English or Somali, rather than Arabic. Punishments include double amputations and stonings. Amnesty International says the rebels have also systematically recruited children under 15 to fight for them.

The Koran babbling contest has been running for three years and takes place after Ramadan. The two previous award ceremonies have occurred in Kismayo, an al-Shabaab stronghold on the far southern coast. In 2009, prizes included hand grenades, anti-tank mines and an AK-47.

The winners of that contest were between 17 and 20 years old, but the age of this year’s winners, who represented the towns of Elasha Biyaha, Kismayo and Mogadishu, are not known.


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  • Daz

    The only words that come to mind are ‘Fucking hell!’ There just aren’t words to describe such sickness.

  • Don

    I won a Scriptural Knowledge Contest at Sunday School when I was 10 and all I got was a bloody certificate.
    (The killer question was ‘How many husbands did the woman at the well have?’)

  • Stonyground

    it was five wasn’t it?

  • ZombieHunter

    So do you get bullets along with the gun or do you have to use the money to buy the bullets seperately??

  • Anonymous

    Amnesty International says the rebels have also systematically recruited children under 15 to fight for them.

  • barriejohn

    Did anyone else see this story? Someone has posted the link and it is the first that I have heard of it.

  • barriejohn

    Do these children have any idea what they are actually reciting?

  • barriejohn

    I find this depressing in so many different ways!

  • tony e

    Every morning, over breakfast, I say to myself ‘Tony, surely religion cannot attain any higher levels of stupidity, the limit has been reached.’
    Every day I am proven wrong.
    It plays havoc with my digestion!

  • Marky Mark

    As radical as this group may sound I can assure you that the fanatical Christian faith of the west would be up to the same things should they ever gain complete power. They are already bombing abortion clinics and killing the doctors as it is, and if they had their way all homosexuals would be decapitated and leaders of other faiths would be burnt at the stake.
    All religions are HATE cults.

  • Newspaniard

    @Marky Mark. You are doing the death cultist thing similar to CAIR and other terrorist organizations: Pointing people in another direction.

  • Newspaniard

    Are we sending aid to Somalia?

  • Angela_K

    “Are we sending aid to Somalia?” Yes, and so are the Americans. We also have a huge Somali population living in the UK many of whom can be seen carrying placards demanding “Death to the West” and other undemocratic statements.
    Using child soldiers is nothing new, it has been common in Africa for years – sick bastards.

  • The Woggler

    It always amazes me that no matter how impoverished, downtrodden and desperately hungry people are, somehow there’s always enough money to buy guns, ammo, and other weapons.
    Can I unashamedly plug one of my favourite causes:

  • elainek123

    BBC News and SKy news concentrate on money problems nothing about child poverty and slavery. I am sick about hearing about Mr.Murdoch.
    War on child poverty, child slave labour,is needed. I would not know about so much if it wasnt for Freethinker. Thank you Barry.

  • elainek123

    Can I unashamedly plug one of my favourite causes:
    Thank you Woggler I have been on this site and very impressed. I have made a small donation as this really looks a genuine cause.

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