Troop 394: Boy Scouts, Americans, Muslims

August 20, 2006

Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel,0,516577.story

On August 20, 2006 the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported, "Hassene Chaabane has been a Boy Scout all his life, so he jumped at the recent opportunity to introduce scouting to a new group of youths. Chaabane, 31, who attends religious services at the Islamic Center of Boca Raton, is spearheading the formation of Cub Scout and Boy Scout Troop 394, the first Muslim troop in the Gulf Stream Council, which covers Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Hendry counties. 'I can't imagine the life of a boy without Boy Scouts,' Chaabane said. Mazin Musallam, 12, of Lake Worth is looking forward to the physical activity of Boy Scouts. 'It's pretty good. We get to play outside a lot,' he said. 'We have snack time, and we get to learn stuff from the Red Cross, like if firemen come don't be afraid.' Chaabane, a native of Tunisia, drives from his home in Hallandale Beach to attend the Boca Raton mosque and help form the troop. Participating in scouting in his homeland helped him grow into the man he is today, he said. 'It taught me self-confidence, values, you name it,' he said. 'At an early age boys have a lot of energy, and if you don't direct the energy in the right direction, they will go and do bad stuff. ... That's why you see kids on the street doing bad things. Some do drugs, some go toward sex, so this is an opportunity for kids to learn about life.'"