Muslim girl scouts get new uniform
Muslim girl scouts are to get a new choice of uniform styled on a more modest design after requests from the Muslim community.
The new range of clothes will include a hoodie dress available from today and T-shirt dresses in knee length styles to launch in the summer. Both outfits are designed to be worn over trousers, jeans or leggings.
The items will be available to all scouts, but are expected to benefit around 600 Muslim girls in the movement.
Designer Sarah Elenany, 27, from London, has come up with the new range via her fashion label Elenany. The clothes feature all the activities scouts can do.
She told the BBC: "I wanted the scouts to be really involved in the design process - the girls told me what they wanted to wear and what issues they had with the existing range."
The new styles aim to reflect the scout movement's diversity and modernisation, and has been created in response to members.
Girl scout Aamena Ismail, 12, from London told the BBC that the hoodie dress was a 'fantastic idea' adding that 'as a Muslim girl in scouting' she felt more comfortable in it, and that it was practical for all activities, even abseiling, yet was 'stylish enough to wear outside scouting too.'
There are an estimated 2,000 Muslim scout members, and UK Chief Scout Bear Grylls says the new clothing range shows that 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.'
He said that 'scouting has something to offer everyone, no matter your religion, ethnicity or belief' and added that he was 'so proud that we offer an environment for people of all backgrounds to come together and enjoy themselves.'
Around 40 UK scout groups have a predominantly Muslim membership and the Scout Association's last census also showed that for the first time more girls than boys are joining the movement.
Syed Miah, national development officer for the Muslim Scout Fellowship, told the education section of Huffington Post UK: "It's essential to continue to make scouting accessible to all.
"We welcome all communities and this initiative helps to ensure that no-one misses out on the numerous benefits and adventure of scouting, because they feel it is 'not for them'."
Chris Foster, spokesman for the Scout Association, said: "There are an awful lot of people out there who still think that scouts are just a Christian-based organisation whereas it encompasses all different faiths," he said.
"It doesn't matter who you are, what you are or what colour your skin is or what faith you are."
What do you think of the new outfits?