Sunday, November 16, 2008

Truely American Girl Scouts

When I was growing up I never knew much about or even was a part of a boy scout troop. Since I was raised as a 7th-Day Adventist growing up the only youth organization I participated in were the Pathfinders. We would go camping, hiking, have marching competitions, other various outdoor activities, and earn honors (or badges). Things that (I think) are similar to what they do in boy scouts. That's about all I know about boy scouts, well that and the various membership controversies they have had over the years.

Even though the Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts, youth organizations were started as a secular group without official ties to any single faith they profess that a certain level of spirituality is fundamental in the growth of the Boy/Girl Scout.

"All Members of the Movement are encouraged to:
  • make every effort to progress in the understanding and observance of the Promise to do their best to do their duty to God;
  • belong to some religious body;
  • carry into daily practice what they profess."
This, I believe, is great for the largest youth organization to not only profess but instill into the hearts and minds of this nation's children (that's if you ignore the membership controversies surrounding atheist, agnostics, and homosexuals). But even as a secular group I can't help but associate Boy/Girl Scouts with Christianity. That is just the connection I make when it comes to the scouts. Scouts=Christians. I'm not saying that they are Christians because they welcome people of all faiths (except those without faith) into their organization. Take a look.

I believe this is a good step towards American attitudes towards Muslims. To associate such an American (actually British-born) organization like the Girl Scouts with something as foreign (to many Americans) as Islam and see it thriving is amazing to witness especially with our crippled relationship with the Islamic world. Now this group is not a breakaway Islamic Girl Scout group since Girl Scouts do not support any one faith. These are just troops that have a majority of Muslim girls. I guess it's the image of a Muslim girl wearing a hijab and a troop uniform that is so awe inspiring to me but to others might make their stomach churn. Because, honestly, to the average American most Muslims are considered terrorist. If they're not planning to blow up a plane, or attempting to promote Sharia Law in America then they are about to burn a U.S. Flag.

I am not trying to be offensive, I am just trying to paint a picture as to how (I think) most Americans see Muslims. I do not see them in this light at all but am trying to make a point.

The fact that Americans CAN stomach a Muslim in a hijab and a troop uniform and even get the attention of the local news brings a smile to my face. Of course after we (yes, I voted for Obama) voted in our first black President with the name Barack Hussein Obama I believe America is ready to stomach a whole lot more. I can feel those smiles impatiently waiting to blossom.

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