DEARBORN HEIGHTS A growing number of young Muslim girls are joining Girl Scout troops in southeast Michigan, forming new friendships based on faith and aspiring for taking new leadership roles when they get older.
We want them to be strong and take on leadership roles in the future, Rana Alaouie, who's a volunteer and has two daughters in the group, told Arab American News on Thursday, March 21.
Offering girls role models, the group volunteers teach them to face bullying with love.
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We teach them that bullying is wrong and Islam teaches us to love one another, she said.
Considered as the biggest Muslim scout group in the US, the Muslim Girl Scouts troop of southeast Michigan has about 250 members.
Through the group the girls are embracing American culture and their faith.
Its members reside in different cities in the region, and meet once a week
Almost all big Islamic centers or mosques in the United States organize scouting troops for their local communities.
In All Dulles Area Muslim Society Scout (ADAMS), one of the largest American Muslim organizations in US, there are more than 200 scouts; boys and girls.
According to the Boy Scouts of America, Muslim scout troops have been increasing over the past two years.
It says about 2,000 scouts are enrolled in some 112 troops through Islamic schools and mosques.
For Muslim girl scouts, their exact number is unknown especially that many of them join predominantly non-Muslim troops.
Giving them better information about faith, the group offered girls better opportunities to form strong friendships with their colleagues.
I've been in the group for years, and a lot of us have watched each other grow up, Janan Wutwut, who has been a member for years in the Muslim Girl Scouts troop of southeast Michigan, said.
It's more than just a Girl Scout troop.
Working for years as a member of southeast Michigan Muslim Girl Scouts, Wutwut was grateful for the group for offering her better information about Islam.
Over the past years, she has also managed to make close friendships with her colleagues.
We're forming strong friendships and learning a lot about each other, she said.
I've learned so much about my faith as well.
It's a great experience, when we have our own kids we want them to be in it, she added.
Hawra Yassine, 21, another volunteer, praised the group because of the opportunities and friendships its members form.
It's a wonderful thing to watch these girls mature and grow, she said.
Although there are no official estimates, the United States is estimated to be home to 7-8 million Muslims.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net