Utah's First Muslim Girl Scout Troops Strengthens Bonds of Faith, Friendship

December 9, 2005

Source: The Salt Lake Tribune


On December 9, 2005 The Salt Lake Tribune reported, "Aisha, a now-17-year-old Somalian who immigrated to Utah by way of Pakistan five years ago, has had her insecure moments. No way around it, she's different. Her culture, religion, skin color and - not least of all - the way she dresses set her apart. Being Murray High School's only Muslim girl who wears 'hijab,' the traditional head covering, can take a toll... Support has now cropped up in, of all places, an American tradition: the Girl Scouts of the USA. Troop No. 496, about 30 members strong, is Utah's first Muslim Girl Scout troop. Officially launched this past fall, the group accommodates Seniors, like Aisha, all the way down to Brownies. Some are immigrants, others American-born. And though their roots reach out to places as far-flung as Bangladesh, Iraq, Laos and Egypt, their common faith brings them together... The troop, endorsed by the Greater Salt Lake Islamic Society, offers a venue where [Muslim girls] can learn from and fortify each other, maintain their values and enjoy the opportunities and activities offered by an American institution... Although the national organization does not keep track of troops based on religion, a quick search online shows that Troop No. 496 is part of a trend. Groups like it are taking hold across the nation, in states as various as Michigan, Virginia, California and Oklahoma."