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Scoutmaster wins settlement over 'Christian roots' letter

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You may remember the story of Brian Walker, a veteran scout leader who was barred from the Scouts after sending a letter to Scouting magazine, challenging the promotion of Islam and LGBT events in the magazine.


After failing in an attempt to have Brian's legal challenge struck off, the Scout Association has now agreed to settle his claim. The Christian Legal Centre supported Brian as he challenged his removal.

 

Expelled for concerns about drift from Christian roots

Having dedicated 52 years of his life to the Scout movement, Brian was barred from membership for writing to the movement’s official magazine expressing his concern that the charity was moving away from its Christian roots.

In his letter, Brian raised several concerns:

  • that the movement was promoting political correctness and interfaith issues (even encouraging scouts to visit a mosque); but for St George's Day advised using a non-religious venue for St George's day services and celebrations.
  • that in the Scouting faith calendar, no meaning was attached to the Christian festivals of Christmas and Easter; but that Islam was widely promoted.
  • that the magazine should be careful in promoting Islam, given the way the religion treats women and their rights.
  • that an article showed a female Muslim scout leader taking girls canoeing wearing her full Islamic veil.

Brian didn't receive a response to any of his points - instead, his letter was passed on to seniors within the Scouting movement, and he received a letter telling him that he was expelled with immediate effect.
 

"The fundamental values of Scouting are being undermined"

Brian explained why he challenged his removal:

“Scouting was started in 1908 by Sir Robert Baden-Powell, based on Christian principles, whilst welcoming those of all faiths and none. Over recent years, I have been concerned that the movement has increasingly promoted Islam above Christianity. Islam is not what has given the scouting movement its inclusive and welcoming nature.

“The irony is that the Chief Scout is Bear Grylls, an internationally-known Christian who is the figure-head for the Alpha Course - which specifically states that Jesus is the only way to God and that Christianity is unique! Their own Chief Scout believes this, and says this publicly, and yet, when I, as a grass roots member for 52 years, challenge the values in a letter which is not even published, I am silenced and dismissed.

“I am raising this case as I believe the fundamental values of Scouting are being undermined. Parents need to be made aware of what is happening at the centre of Scouting, and will eventually flow out into the local groups. We need to act now to maintain and protect the values on which the movement was based.”


Listen to Brian explain his safety concerns

Brian explained the safety concerns he had about canoeing with Islamic veils in a discussion on BBC 5 Live.

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