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Scouts' uniform for Muslim girls welcomed in East Lancashire
7:00am Tuesday 10th April 2012 in News
The Scouts have developed the first uniform for Muslim girls as the organisations aims to attract youngsters from different cultures.
The move has been welcomed by Muslim leaders in East Lancashire who believe it will lead to more girls joining the organisation.
It is the first time the 105-year-old organisation has altered the design of its clothes specifically for a religion.
The new uniform range includes a knee-length 'hoodie dress' with long sleeves to protect the wearer's modesty. Another t-shirt style dress, suitable for warmer weather, is being finalised ready for the summer.
Both outfits, designed to be worn with trousers, jeans or leggings, were created in response to the growing number of Muslims joining the organisation.
There are already around 2,000 Muslim scout members, including more than 20 Muslim girls in East Lancashire.
Alongside existing Scout Groups with predominately Muslim members, several new groups across East Lancashire are opening - two of which are in Blackburn.
Salim Mulla, chair of the Lancashire Council of Mosques, said he welcomed the new uniforms.
He said: “I think that if the dress is more appropriate then that is something the Muslim community will acknowledge.
“It is about modesty and if the organisations are being sensitive towards the needs of the community, then that is something to be welcomed and I think more girls will try to get involved.”
UK Chief Scout Bear Grylls said: "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.
"Scouting has something to offer everyone, no matter your religion, ethnicity or belief, and I'm so proud that we offer an environment for people of all backgrounds to come together and enjoy themselves."
The Scout Association's last census also showed that for the first time, more girls than boys are joining the movement, with an 88 per cent rise in female youth membership since 2005 to 66,576.
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