Foreign Policy

Prizes for Kids Koran Recital Contest: AK-47s, Grenades

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

Somalia is one rough place. The winners of a recital contest for children -- for children -- received AK-47s and hand grenades.

According to Voice of America, Andalus radio, which is run by an al-Qaeda-linked group called al-Shabab, sponsored the Koran recital competition. Senior al-Shabab leader Mukhtar Robow said at the competition that children should use guns to defend Islam.

To that noble end, the child who won the contest received an AK-47 and $700. The second place finisher got the same assault rifle plus $500. Third place netted two hand grenades and $400. Oh, they also got religion books so they can study Islam when they are not defending it.

Al-Shabab is fighting government forces for control of Somalia. It has taken parts of the country, including the capital of Mogadishu at one point, but recently the government was able to take the capital back.