Hooked on Automatics: Somalia Islamic Militants Force Children to Watch Executions and Learn to Use Weapons

125px-Flag_of_Somalia.svgthumb_teacher1The Islamic al-Shabaab militia is well known for its harsh application of Sharia law in Somalia. However, it turns out that they have the same concerns about the children growing up with the wrong priorities and values as do people in the West. In the case of the al-Shabaab, the problem is a failure of parents to teach children to use weapons and their insistence on educating them on such things as reading and writing. The militia group is now forcing children to watch executions and giving away prizes of automatic weapons and grenades at children events. It is the Somali version of Hooked on Phonics.

The militants have been rounding up children from schools to watch executions in places like Merca, Somalia.

In Kismayo, children competed for the right to own AK-47 assault rifles, hand grenades and anti-tank mines. At the prize ceremony, parents were reminded to teach their children well about the use of weapons and the need to kill.

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42 thoughts on “Hooked on Automatics: Somalia Islamic Militants Force Children to Watch Executions and Learn to Use Weapons”

  1. Here’s someone who practices non-violent action on behalf of national healthcare for all.

    “Why I Am Risking Arrest for Medicare for All
    Submitted by davidswanson on Thu, 2009-10-29 16:15.

    * Healthcare
    * Nonviolent Resistance

    By Margaret Flowers, M.D., Congressional Fellow, Physicians for a National Health Program

    Let me begin by saying that I don’t have any desire to be arrested. I am a pediatrician with 3 teenagers and a husband who would prefer that I do not spend time in jail. I have never actually spent the night in jail and I imagine it’s not very pleasant. To be honest, I am a bit frightened. But, I expect that these are normal feelings and I am dedicated to act despite my reservations because there comes a time when our conscience dictates that we act. That time is now (or “way past now” as doctors and patients whom I’ve met in my travels have told me).

    In short, I am going to be arrested because I believe that it is my professional responsibility to advocate on behalf of those patients who are suffering and because it is clear that traditional advocacy tools are not working. The phrase that runs continuously through my mind is “To be silent is to be complicit.” I cannot be complicit in the face of an industry that profits at the cost of human lives and in the face of an administration and Congress that are too dysfunctional to stop this practice.”


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