I have always thought if a son shall asks for bread a father wouldn’t give him a stone. Or if he asks for fish, he wouldn’t be given a serpent. Or furthermore if he shall asked for an egg, he wouldn’t be offered a live scorpion. Well who needs enemies when you have friends who give you unusual gifts like these? You see…
Children in Somalia
Over the weekend, a Somali radio station run by the Shabab, the most powerful Islamist militant group in the war-ravaged country, held an awards ceremony to honor children who were experts at Shabab trivia and at reciting the Koran. The prizes? Fully automatic assault rifles and live hand grenades.
The contest itself was held during Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting, and featured questions that the Shabab seemed to think every child should know, like which war was Sheik Timajilic (a famous Shabab warrior) killed in?
Without a functioning central government, Somalia has some of the lowest schooling rates in the world, and many Somali children are more familiar with rifles than rulers. Contestants in the Shabab quiz included children from all across Shabab-controlled areas of Somalia, most of the southern third of the country. The children competed live on air from the many radio stations nationwide that the Shabab control.
On Sunday, the awards were handed out at a ceremony held at the Andalus radio station in Elasha Biyaha, a small town near Mogadishu, the capital. (Andalus was the part of Spain seized by the Arabs in the Middle Ages.) The first- and second-place winners won AK-47 assault rifles, some money and Islamic books. The third-place winner was given two hand grenades. The contestants were 10 to 17 years old.
The “religion of peace” sure has a way of spreading the love.