Al-Shabaab fighters receive large sums of money as part of annually Quran competition
Mogadishu (Harar24) – In a festive Quran recital competition held annually, this time in Barawe, the Al-Shabaab movement hosted different fighters from each region under their control to compete in order to determine the best reciters.
The competition which is held annually in the holy month of Ramadan was attended by more than twenty Al-Shabaab fighters, high-ranking commanders, Islamic scholars and elders from the town. The competition was based on the memorization and recitation regulating the Quran.
Abu Abdallah, Al-Shabaab governor of Lower Shabelle region, while speaking to the media recalled that the competition which had been ongoing for four days, was won by Abdirahman Abdullahi Hassan, from Al-Shabaab’s Ali bin Abu Talib brigade operating in Mogadishu, who came first place and earned a grand prize $1500 and other goods. While the second place had been earned by Salman Nur Mohamed, from the Uthman bin Afan brigade based in the Jubba regions, who earned an amount of $1300 and in the third place came Yusuf Mohamed Yare, from the Abu Bakr Sidiq brigade, based in the Bay & Bakol regions, earning an amount of $1100.
“The competition had been ongoing for four days in one of the mosques in the town, the men who’d been taking part were armed and geared and many people were attending in order to watch the competition” said a resident from the coastal town of Barawe, speaking to Harar24 and request anonymity. “There was also heavy guarding going around the area, for possible fear of attacks, since many high ranking figures were present in the area, men from the amniyat were also said to be patrolling the area” added the resident.
Al-Shabaab, a designated terror group by the United States and many Western countries, who fight to overthrow the Western-backed Somali government in order to implement Shari’a law, consists of thousands of local and foreign fighters, whom the group constantly strives to discipline and entertain at the same time by involving them in competitions, such as the Quran competition held annually. Every competition hosted by the group is guaranteed to hand out prizes in the form of cash in the thousands or weapons, thus causing fighters to flock for competition.
The group also hosts competitions based on Quran and Islamic teachers for many of the local youth in the areas under their control, the winners and those who come out on top are rewarded with a large sum of money and eventually being taken as recruits for the group.