Scout leader removed after comparing niqab-wearing Muslim colleague to Darth Vader
Categories: Latest News
Wednesday February 14 2018
A senior scout leader, Mr. Brian Walker, has been dismissed from his post after writing to Scouting magazine to protest over their feature of a scout leader who was a Muslim and wore the niqab.
Mr. Walker, in regards to the niqab, said in his email: “they will most likely drown wearing that Darth Vader tent” and that her “outward appearance is enough to frighten children and animals”.
Ms. Zainab, the scout leader who Mr. Walker complained against, has hit back criticising Mr. Walker’s comments, claiming that the niqab does not compromise her capability as a scout leader.
She said: “It’s not about being Muslim, it’s about being human. A couple of times we’ve been out on hikes in our hijabs and neckers, and people have come up to us and given us lots of positive comments. It’s not a barrier; it doesn’t stop me from doing anything. I’m bossy. Nobody can say I’m repressed.”
The editor of the Scouting magazine also responded to Mr. Walker’s comments by voicing his disagreement.
Mr. Walker was removed from his position four days later on grounds that he had breached the values of the Scout Association.
Mr. Walker has also allegedly made homophobic comments, criticizing Scouting magazine’s promotion of Pride festivals.
He said: “[The magazine] should be promoting scouting adventures not Gay Pride. They have gone all fluffy. I feel they have gone off the path on everything that they set out to do.”
The Scout Association were unable to comment on the case due to legal reasons, however emphasised the importance of inclusivity.
“Inclusivity is at the heart of modern scouting and is a value we hold dear. We welcome young people and volunteers from all communities across the UK and we are proud of our inclusive approach to youth work”.
The Scout Association is the largest scouting organization in the UK and claims to provide activities to more than 450,000 young people. The organization is associated with more than 60 Muslim Scout groups in England and Wales, and the Muslim Scout Fellowship – the official body for Muslim adult Scout volunteers – received accolades at the British Muslim awards.
Therefore, it is reassuring to see that the organisation is actively exercising policies of inclusivity, as marginalization at such a level will result in intolerance being imparted on to subsequent generations.