Muslim Scouting Serves as a Cultural Bridge

July 25, 2006

Source: VOA News

On July 25, 2006 VOA News reported, "The girls recite the Scout Oath: 'I will try to serve God and my country, to help people all the time, and to live by the Girl Scout law.' Every Friday evening, Amina, her friend Thuraya, and several other girls gather in this classroom at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society or ADAMS in Sterling, Virginia. They belong to a Brownie troop, a Girl Scout group for six to eight year olds. Amina says she likes being a Girl Scout. Another scout, Thuraya, says she knows why. 'Because you help your community and you earn things. You have a fun time. You help your nation.' Sarah Hasan, an Indian descendant raised in Kuwait, is the leader of the Brownie troop. 'We want to teach the basic values of the Girl Scout promise: kindness, helpfulness, being honest, integrity, and working together as a group.' Thuraya's father, Arash Hazer, from Iran, finds those characteristics are compatible with Islamic values. So he sends his two home-schooled daughters to the Girl Scout program. 'They need to be involved in life here. So Girl Scout service to the country, service to the community certainly is a big value in our (Islamic) belief system.' The Boy Scouts of America says U.S. Muslim scout troops have been increasing in the past two decades. It reports 112 troops with almost 2,000 members chartered through Islamic schools or mosques."