Friday 12th of July 2024

Northern Ireland’s first Muslim scout group set for Belfast

Morning Mirror Desk »

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The first Muslim scout group in Northern Ireland is to be established in Belfast.

The 117th Belfast Islamic Centre Scout Group has been set up with the help of Scouts NI.

It is holding an event to register new members for the group on Saturday 17 September.

There are about 12,000 members and leaders in the Scouts in Northern Ireland, making it one of the biggest youth organisations in the country.

There are already more than 70 Muslim Scout groups in the UK, who are part of the wider-UK Scout organisation.

But the one in Belfast will be the first group in Northern Ireland.

The chief commissioner of Scouts NI, Stephen Donaldson, said that the new group would enable the movement to keep growing in Northern Ireland.

“We’re looking to areas where we haven’t been so much in evidence in the past,” he told BBC News NI.

“With my role being a national role and being across in England quite a lot, I got to know about the Muslim Scout fellowship.

“That was the motivation for us to get it started in Northern Ireland.

“We kind of thought that there’s a community there that probably needs us as much as we need them.

“To get people involved in scouting you need to be in their community, so that’s very much our way of looking at this in Northern Ireland as well.”

The leader of the new Muslim Scout Group is Ameer Ibrahim.

He had been a Sea Scout in Sudan as a child before he came to live in Northern Ireland.

“I enjoyed my time when I was in the Sea Scouts, I learned a lot – swimming, canoeing, sailing, camping,” he told BBC News NI.

“Scouts is a worldwide organisation, it has no religious ideology or any political point of view.”

Mr Ibrahim said that the differences in the Muslim Scouts were small and mainly to do with some of the uniform worn, rather than any activities.

“Our girls can wear the scarf, they can cover their body,” he said.

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