CAIRO - Catering for the growing numbers of Muslim scouts in Britain, a new uniform has been launched to fit Muslim girls, The Guardian reported Friday, March 30.
"Scouting has something to offer everyone, no matter your religion, ethnicity or belief," UK chief scout Bear Grylls said.
"And I'm so proud that we offer an environment for people of all backgrounds to come together and enjoy themselves."
A new knee-length outfit was launched Friday by the Scout Association to fit Muslim girl scouts in Britain.
The new clothing includes a "hoodie dress" and a T-shirt dress, both with long sleeves.
It features a graphic print inspired by Scout badges and activities.
The current uniform includes a short-sleeved T-shirt and no headgear, but the new outfit would have long sleeves and can be worn with a headscarf.
The new outfit was launched after data showed that more girls were joining the scout movement than boys.
"With this new clothing range scouting is continuing to move with the times and adapt to the growing number of people from different communities who are choosing to be a part of the movement," said Grylls.
There are estimated 2,000 Muslim scouts in Britain and there are about 40 active scout groups with a predominantly Muslim membership.
According to the Scout Association, Muslims make up more than a third of all scouts worldwide.
The new outfit would meet Muslim demands for a uniform that fits with their religious teachings.
"Girls told me what they wanted to wear and what issues they had with the existing range," British designer Sarah Elany, of a Palestinian origin, told The Daily Mail.
"They feel more comfortable wearing the new outfits and feedback from Muslims and non-Muslims has been brilliant."
The new uniform is expected to encourage more Muslim girls to join scouting.
"It's essential to continue to make scouting accessible to all," said Syed Miah, national development officer for the Muslim Scout Fellowship.
"We welcome all communities and this initiative helps to ensure that no one misses out on the numerous benefits and adventure of scouting, because they feel it is 'not for them'."
Chris Foster, spokesman for the Scout Association, agrees.
"There are an awful lot of people out there who still think that scouts are just a Christian-based organization whereas it encompasses all different faiths," he said.
"It doesn't matter who you are, what you are or what color your skin is or what faith you are."Britain is home to a Muslim minority of nearly 2.5 million.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net