Both my children, a son and a daughter have been with Scouts Canada since the year 2002. My wife is a Scout Leader.
My son received the Chief Scouts Award a couple of years ago.
Yesterday my daughter received several awards including the Chief Scouts Award at a ceremony held at the North York Collegiate Institute.
The ceremony began with us being asked to stand as the bagpiper led the flag bearers in.
We were asked to continue standing while the national anthem would be sung, followed by a prayer.
The ‘prayer’ turned out to be a recitation from the Quran, in Arabic, followed by a translation of the verse recited. It was conducted by a Scout, and his father happened to be seated a couple of rows ahead of me.
No other prayers were recited.
I’d hazard a guess that apart from the Scout concerned and his father, there were no other people of the Islamic faith present at the ceremony.
To the best of my knowledge, the Muslim Scout concerned did not even receive an award during the ceremony. He was brought in specifically to recite the prayer !
I’d hazard a guess, and to err on the side of caution, more than 95% of the people present were not of the Islamic faith.
I’d hazard another guess that the predominant faith of the people present was Christianity or Buddhism or Shintoism or no faith at all.
However, Scouts Canada did not think it appropriate that the prayer recited at this ceremony reflect the composition of the audience present, or even of the larger Canadian population at large. The last reported statistics indicate that Muslims comprise less than 2% of the Canadian population. In other words, 98% OF PEOPLE LIVING IN CANADA ARE NOT MUSLIM.
If Scouts Canada chose to take a non-denominational approach to the prayer, that would have been fine. But no, it was Islam being forced upon a majority of people who DO NOT SUBSCRIBE to this faith.
I can perfectly understand it the Islamic prayer was recited at a ceremony honoring the The 163rd IIT Scout Group. I would understand it the Islamic prayer was recited at a ceremony honoring the eight allied Muslim Groups and approximately 350 Scouts Canada members (http://www.cmfos.ca/).
It is disgraceful that Scouts Canada has now decided that the Islamic faith is the de-facto belief system of it’s participants.
I am outraged and am now seriously considering removing my children from the Scouting movement.
I am mulling over how I can bring this information to the wider public so that parents are clear about what direction Scouts Canada is taking.
I look forward to your response and comments.