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Thread: Police called in after Scout group run from mosque is linked to Islamic extremist

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    Police called in after Scout group run from mosque is linked to Islamic extremist

    ďA week of camp life is worth six months of theoretical teaching in the meeting room.Ē Baden-Powell

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    Senior Member Kastor's Avatar
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    There's always going to be pressure on Groups attached to religious organisations to toe the religions line.

    We were linked with a church who expected us to turn up for services when they wanted to show they had youth participation. Over time we managed to wean ourseleves away.
    To get more kids we need more adults - are we getting the message yet?

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    It's a bizarre thing to do though. Using Scouts (of all things) as a vehicle to push religious dogma like that, (if that's what was happening...)

    I know some groups have no choice, but I reckon we should be completely disentangled from any religious links. I don't it's something we should be getting involved with.

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    Senior Member bernwood's Avatar
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    Its high time scouting was secular in its outlook.

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    Senior Member CambridgeSkip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kastor View Post
    There's always going to be pressure on Groups attached to religious organisations to toe the religions line.

    We were linked with a church who expected us to turn up for services when they wanted to show they had youth participation. Over time we managed to wean ourseleves away.
    I'd suggest there's smething more to it than that here. If it was just the pushing of religion too hard that was the problem this would have been an entirely internal matter. Some adults may have been suspended but we wouldn't have seen police involved. To see police involvement does suggest something more to it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bernwood View Post
    Its high time scouting was secular in its outlook.
    I don't see the need for that at all. There have long been strong and very healthy relationships between scout groups and places of worship. It is in only rare cases that we see problems such as this. Scouting is a world wide movement and world wide most people have a religious belief of some description. It is part of the world we live in and we are developing young people to live in that world. If anything, given the tension that there is between different religions in some places I think scouting is a very healthy place to bring people of differing beliefs together in an environment where they can talk about those beliefs in a peaceful and constructive manner.

    I have often heard the saying to avoid the subjects of religion and politics. It's my view that that phrase comes from the fact that we don't teach young people how to talk about politics and religion in a polite and constructive way. If we did so those two subjects would cause far fewer problems.

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    Senior Member bernwood's Avatar
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    I used to run a cub pack and we ran it secular, with no religious content at all, and got rained on from high from a district level, there was a lot of pressure to attend religous events throughout the year, to say prayers in meetings, and not to use the secular promise when investing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bernwood View Post
    I used to run a cub pack and we ran it secular, with no religious content at all, and got rained on from high from a district level, there was a lot of pressure to attend religous events throughout the year, to say prayers in meetings, and not to use the secular promise when investing.
    Ok, but in the nicest way, that doesn’t mean that nomgood can come of an inter relationship with faith and it doesn’t help prepare young people for making their own choices.

    Push a faith - no, that shouldn’t be us.
    Offer the opportunity to understand that others have faith and that’s ok - that should be us

    Now interestingly, we are a sea scout group and we say a prayer at the end. We always have. I’ve wondered several times whether it is right. But for me, the defining moment same from a Jewish parent.

    We were chatting away (painting a floor I think) and she said to me, unprompted “it’s great that you do the prayer. It’s not xxxxs faith but she needs to understand and know how to deal with religion that’s different to hers.” It took me back and gave me a different prospective.

    So, we are not religious in most of our outlook, but we do say a prayer and it works for us.

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    Senior Member bernwood's Avatar
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    Why say a prayer at all, why not just an uplifting or positive statement, why do we have to offer it up some abstract deity

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    Personally, I find theology interesting (fascinating actually), but I don't believe any of it.

    The problem I have with it, when you're dealing with kids, they take what is said (and done) at face value. So if you're not explicitly informing them about theology or teaching them to think critically, you're kind of just presenting it as a fait accompli - or just something they should do and believe.

    I remember when I was a Scout getting told off because I didn't bow my head during prayers - 'being religious' was the default position growing up, if you're saying a prayer at the end of meetings, then you're perpetuating and promoting religiosity - which I think is problematic around young people.

    I would never say don't do it, because that would be hypocritical. The point is, to not tell anyone to do anything, just give them the information and let them decide for themselves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bernwood View Post
    I used to run a cub pack and we ran it secular, with no religious content at all, and got rained on from high from a district level, there was a lot of pressure to attend religous events throughout the year, to say prayers in meetings, and not to use the secular promise when investing.
    I'm guessing that was some time ago?

    from the free section of the article
    The investigation also found girls as young as five in the group
    The core age of Beavers is 6 - 8, although there is some flexibility ( 5 3/4's ) i would have though this would be the exception as opposed to the rule.

    The Scout Association raised the alarm after the Telegraph found the Lewisham Islamic Centre had been segregating groups by gender, despite the Scoutís own commitment to mixed-sex groups.
    I was under the impression that in some cases its possible to run a group with single sex meetings, ie boys on a monday, girls on a Tuesday?

    Also does the Scout association still have some sort of checking checking members names/ID against media/press?
    you would hope that they are also checking extremist groups and known memberships, on all sides

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    Sea Scout Leader richardnhunt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bernwood View Post
    Why say a prayer at all, why not just an uplifting or positive statement, why do we have to offer it up some abstract deity
    As per the answer from her mum:

    We were chatting away (painting a floor I think) and she said to me, unprompted ďitís great that you do the prayer. Itís not xxxxs faith but she needs to understand and know how to deal with religion thatís different to hers.Ē It took me back and gave me a different prospective.

    Now I may think that I am witty, erudite and uplifting (opinions vary) but I certainly dont have several hundred years of language crafting behind me, and (b) my uplifting statement doesnt really achieve the aim

    Now, Scouting is a broad church (geddit) so I am not overly excited by this, but banning any mention on the basis of 1 dodgy group in a newspaper article seems a little.....extreme

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard T View Post



    I was under the impression that in some cases its possible to run a group with single sex meetings, ie boys on a monday, girls on a Tuesday?
    I was also under that impression - and when I checked, POR does say that there can be single sex Sections - provided that membership is available to both sexes in all Sections of the Group. This is only allowed in "special situations" but one of the examples given of such a situation is where there are cultural or religious requirements for this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bernwood View Post
    Its high time scouting was secular in its outlook.
    Scouting in a group/section context will always depend primarily on the leaders delivering it. Often, any religious involvement is primarily traditional ("we've always done it like this") rather than because of anything else. When I ran a Cub Pack, the first thing I did is replace the prayer at the end with the Cub Scout Law as I felt it was a far more useful thing to do. I know that has been continued since I left as well.

    Our District St George's Day Parade is always at a church - this is because it's "tradition", and if we stop for a year we might not be able to do it again (due to police cover for closing the roads). But I think I may have won this, if recent proposals follow through for 2020...
    Chris Hawes, District Media Manager, Watford North Scout District and Watford Scouts; Group Treasurer and Webmaster, 9th North Watford Scout Group.
    Web designer of free Scouting templates, Scouting Themes 4 WordPress.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    It's a bizarre thing to do though. Using Scouts (of all things) as a vehicle to push religious dogma like that, (if that's what was happening...)

    I know some groups have no choice, but I reckon we should be completely disentangled from any religious links. I don't it's something we should be getting involved with.
    I would disagree - all Groups have a choice. It may be a difficult choice and it may cost them but they do have a choice.

    I appreciate that if the Church Hall was the only place to meet then finding or building something else may be difficult but you cannot be held ransom by the sponsoring or non sponsoring church or other body.

    We had a Group here who were 'sponsored' by an RC Church. The Priest insisted that he vetted all potential Leaders / adults appointed to the Group and that they had to be Catholic. The Church did provide a meeting room free or very cheap. The Group struggled to find adults even though there were 2 congregations each week that filled the church.

    The Group closed as there was no leaders from within. If the Group and District had fought and got they sorted the 'sponsorship' would have been cancelled and Group either moved or started paying to use the hall.

    The new Muslim Groups that are being created around the country are in many cases open to all but in reality I don't beleive that there is much non Muslim take up.

    That said whether a Group is 'tied' to a religious body or not (and I mean all Groups) the adults who lead the Groups have a tremendous influence on the young people in their care.

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    Quote Originally Posted by daveb123 View Post
    I would disagree - all Groups have a choice. It may be a difficult choice and it may cost them but they do have a choice.

    I appreciate that if the Church Hall was the only place to meet then finding or building something else may be difficult but you cannot be held ransom by the sponsoring or non sponsoring church or other body.

    We had a Group here who were 'sponsored' by an RC Church. The Priest insisted that he vetted all potential Leaders / adults appointed to the Group and that they had to be Catholic. The Church did provide a meeting room free or very cheap. The Group struggled to find adults even though there were 2 congregations each week that filled the church.

    The Group closed as there was no leaders from within. If the Group and District had fought and got they sorted the 'sponsorship' would have been cancelled and Group either moved or started paying to use the hall.

    The new Muslim Groups that are being created around the country are in many cases open to all but in reality I don't beleive that there is much non Muslim take up.

    That said whether a Group is 'tied' to a religious body or not (and I mean all Groups) the adults who lead the Groups have a tremendous influence on the young people in their care.
    I wasn't talking about the more traditional scouty faiths, I was talking specifically about, well, any sort of extremism of any faith - not really being compatible with Scouts.

    I did say that I knew some groups had no choice.

    If you're going to engage in some extremist brainwashing, be it Christian, Muslim or what ever, the amount of revisionism you'd have to do would render what ever was left distinctly not scouty. It just seemed bizarre to me for them to (say) use all the physical trappings (uniform, badges etc), but ignore the entire ethos of scouting.

    (I do however appreciate how that happened in history, but in middle class Britain, today? I'm pretty sure there's already a Muslim youth wing anyway... Surely it would have been easier to go down that road? Unless they were developing a crack team of deep undercover operatives - sleepers if you will - using a Scouting background as a cover... Or something...)

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