Back in my day, I used to be a Girl Scout. It’s been so funny to see the reactions on most people I tell this to, whether Muslim or non-Muslim. I guess that seeing me as a Girl Scout is not something they can imagine, but alas, I loved my Scouting days. That is, until my troop broke up back when I was in 4th or 5th grade. That was a sad day, no more selling GS cookies, no more patches on my GS sash…
I even know a Muslim Boy Scout- which I admit, I was surprised about too… But I think the Scouts are fun. They’re a nice way to spend your time.
In this morning’s NYTimes, an article was written about how more and more Muslims are getting involved in the scouts (mostly girls, but boys too).
The exact number of Muslim girl scouts is unknown, especially since, organizers say, most Muslim scouts belong to predominantly non-Muslim troops. Minneapolis is something of an exception, because a few years ago the Girl Scout Council here surveyed its shrinking enrollment and established special outreach coordinators for various minorities. Some 280 Muslim girls have joined about 10 predominantly Muslim troops here, said Hodan Farah, who until September was the Scout coordinator for the Islamic community.
Nationally, the Boy Scouts of America count about 1,500 youths in 100 clubs of either Boy Scouts or Cub Scouts sponsored by Islamic organizations, said Gregg Shields, a spokesman for the organization.
I remember the GS pledge— “On my honor, I will try to serve God and my country, to help people at all times and to live by the Girl Scout Law.”
I laughed when in the article they spoke about how GS is no longer a white- suburban middle class of youngsters, how many troops are more flexible. Heh, in the Muslim troop they say:
“On my honor I will try to serve Allah and my country, to help people and live by the Girl Scout law,” eight girls from predominantly Muslim Troop 3119 in Minneapolis recited on one recent rainy Sunday before setting off for a cookout in a local park.
Troop leaders win over parents by explaining that various activities incorporate Muslim traditions. In Minneapolis, for instance, Ms. Hakeem helped develop the Khadija Club, named for the first wife of the Prophet Muhammad, which exposes older girls to the history of prominent Muslim women.
Suboohi Khan, 10, won her Bismallah (in the name of God) ribbon by writing 4 of God’s 99 names in Arabic calligraphy and decorating them, as well as memorizing the Koran’s last verse, used for protection against gossips and goblins. [Note: I have NO idea how the writer got in this line about goblins.. Since when do Muslims believe in goblins?]
Anyhow, I thought it was a cute article.. I guess I just don’t see many girls in the scouts anymore (however, a little girl I tutor actually just joined them so I had to switch days to work). 🙂