Syed Ehtesham Haider Naqvi MBA, Founder
Islamic Council on Scouting of North America
On the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of National Islamic Committee of the Boy Scouts of America, I am honored to present a historical perspective of the history of the Committee to enlighten our patrons and friends of the progress made by us due to the efforts and cooperation extended by all of you.
Scouting has been recognized by Muslims as a great movement uniting the youth of the world under the banner of spiritual, patriotic and moral ideals. Our concern is to fulfill our responsibilities toward the Muslim youth and to prepare them for the leadership roles of tomorrow.
Twenty-five years ago we initiated the idea of the Islamic Committee on Scouting. My report as founder of Islamic Council on Scouting was presented at a meeting of various Islamic leaders and heads of Islamic organizations, who welcomed the idea of forming a National Islamic Committee. An ad hoc committee was formed under the Chairmanship of His Excellency Ambassador Youssouf Sylla, who was then representative to the United Nations of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). This was in 1982, and immediately thereafter the Boy Scouts of America extended its approval to the Islamic Committee.
As part of our plans and continuing activities, we have distributed various papers and brochures advancing the concept of Islamic values and Muslim community. We have also provided financial aid to local councils of the Boy Scouts of America in order to further the cause of Islamic Scouting. We are very pleased that a large number of our youth have participated in Boy Scout activities and summer camps under the leadership of the Islamic Committee in various states including New York, New Jersey, Illinois, California, Ohio, Baltimore, Washington DC, Virginia, and Michigan.
Michigan is the home of the first recipient of Islamic Award for Muslim Boy Scouts: his religious emblem of Islamic faith “In The Name Of GOD”. This award was created by the Federation of Islamic Association in the United States and Canada under the leadership of its President Mr. Nehad Hamid and Co President Chuck Khalil Alawan.
Michigan is also the first state where I motivated to myself at Lost Lake Scouts Reservation, as International Camp Councilor of the Boy Scots of America International Camp Staff Exchange Program. I had the honor of representing Pakistan in 1977 and later Baton Rouge Louisiana Council in 1978. Afterwards, I joined the Greater New York Council Boy Scouts of America in 1979 where I learned of the opportunity for developing Islamic Scouting during my professional training at National Executive Institute in Dallas, Texas, where I commissioned as Executive.
In 1981 the Islamic Council on Scouting of North America officially took over the program from the Federation and since 1982 we are the custodian of all the religious awards for Muslim Scouts.
Thus judging the progress made by the Islamic Committee in the comparatively short period of five years, we celebrated our Fifth Years Celebration at UN, in New York where Mr. Ben Love, Chief Scouts Executive, Boy Scouts of America, Ambassador Engin Ansay, Permanent Representative of Organization of the Islamic Conference and our great leader Late Imam W. Deen Muhammed were the first recipients of our adult religious award, along with the Ambassador Youssouf Sylla who provided the inspiration for this noble cause.
I am sure you will agree with me that the results are extremely encouraging. All the achievements of the Islamic Committee have been due to the cooperation and assistance of the Committee members as well as those who have remained anonymous in their support to the cause.
As part of our plans and continuing activities, in 1985 announced the formation of the National Islamic Committee for Girls Scouts of USA and later appointed the national coordinator to find the National leadership and establish the National Committee.
We also formed an International Islamic Conference and secretariat, which coordinates the activities and objectives of Muslim Scouts all over the world under active consideration. We also established the federation in Germany, UK, and France for the Muslim Youth to participate in Islamic Scouting.
Its ongoing continue efforts to achieve the cooperation and between national organizations, to join hand in hand to establish the relationship as charter partner, we are excited to report that ISNA lent their hand to this project and signed the charter partner with Boy Scouts of America.
I am sure that in view of our ever developing activities and the expansion of our scope, greater cooperation from all of you will be forthcoming. Without your help no achievements would be possible. Lastly, let me render my personal thanks to all who have contributed towards the betterment of the Islamic Scouting.
God bless all of you.
If you would like to become involved in Islamic Scouting at the national, regional, local council, or unit level,
please send an email message to: Chairman -AT- IslamicScouting -DOT- org
National Islamic Committee on Scouting, P. O. BOX 857, Edison New Jersey 08818, USA
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