2.6.16

THIS IS HOW ASSIMILATION WORKS.

Muslim Scouts pursue an American tradition — in an America wary of Muslims.
To Muslim American parents, tapping into the patriotic tradition meant as much as the other incentives for putting kids in Scouts: getting them off the couch, offline and outdoors. The parents also thought Scouting complemented lessons of service, charity, good deeds and upright character taught in the Koran.
It's called buying into America, and the Scouts and Scouters are figuring it out, even if some of their neighbors haven't yet caught on. Sometimes, all it takes is a cookie table.
“What we’re trying to teach our children is, there is no dichotomy between being Muslim and being American,” Kouthar Muttardy said. “A lot of people who hold these [negative] opinions have never met a Muslim. You should use every opportunity when you interact with others to set the record straight.”

She said she reminds her children of the unique position they occupy: “As a Muslim, you have many amazing things to contribute to American society. As an American, you have more opportunities than most Muslims around the world.”
Yes, and understanding checks and balances, part of the civics education that accompanies Scouting, provides the youngsters with a better inoculation against the presidential cult than many of the gentry commentariat have.
Farooq Syed, another Scout leader and Osman’s uncle, was sitting next to Osman and saw what he wrote.

“The nation is not one person,” Farooq said. “The Constitution protects you as a Muslim.”

“Okay,” Osman said.

He then wrote: “However, due to the democratic system of government in America, one man cannot make drastic change. Because of the checks-and-balance system in place, one branch cannot have all the power. Because America protects me and my family’s rights, I am positive we will be all right regardless of the presidential election outcome.”

Closing the discussion, Rahiq Syed said that, compared with other countries, “America is one of the safest places ever for Muslims, really.”

After the meeting, he was still thinking about the Scouts’ Trump fixation: “Muslim families all over are very anxious. You can see that in the kids.”
Anxious, and yet, as Scouts and Scouters, better equipped to handle a messy reality, or a camp trailer stuck in the mud. Go, read, understand.

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