Muslim Scouts Build Community in South Brunswick

March 26, 2006

Source: Home News Tribune

On March 26, 2006 the Home News Tribune reported, "The boys of Troop 114 hike, canoe and help fix trails at Scout camp in northwestern New Jersey. They earn patches, sing songs and hoist tents in the woods... But unlike most other Boy Scouts, [Atif Salahudeen, 12, of Lawrenceville] and his fellow 35 troop members take time out during camp to pray five times a day. In the mess hall they dine on halal food, and during weekly troop meetings at the Noor-Ul-Iman School off Route 1 they recite the Pledge of Allegiance and the Boy Scout Oath after a prayer to Allah... As members of the first, official all-Muslim Boy Scout troop in New Jersey, the boys mesh their religious beliefs with the values of the Boy Scouts of America, learning first aid, outdoor survival techniques, citizenship skills and earning patches on Islam. Aly Aziz, 70, a Noor-Ul-Iman board member who was once a Boy Scout in Alexandria, Egypt, founded the troop four years ago. Since then, the school also has chartered a Daisy and Junior Girl Scout troop... As of 2004, 112 Islamic Boy Scout, Cub Scout, and Venturing Crew groups were chartered in the United States. In 2002, 94 troops were registered; in 2003, 107... Alan Rowe, a Boy Scouts of America district director who helped organizers establish the troop, said the boys' presence at Scouting events has inspired cultural dialogue and questions about Islam."