What makes Boy Scout Troop 2690 pioneering, in a sense, is that it’s the first troop chartered to Northeast Ohio mosques, or Masajid.
Isa Abdul Matin is the scoutmaster.
MATIN: “When I was a kid I wasn’t Muslim then. I think everyone has the preconceived notion that the Boy Scouts are Christian-based. So you kind of like feel like you know if I do become a Boy Scout, maybe I can’t be myself. Then I found out that yes, we can be ourselves, and that was like attractive. So here we are: Muslim Boy Scouts! (Laughs)”
Scout troops can be sponsored or chartered by all kinds of organizations, including non-profits, churches, synagogues, or mosques.
Three Cleveland-area mosques have contributed boys to this troop, including the Muslim Association of Cleveland East, or MACE.
Muhammad Samad heads the board of trustees for MACE. He helped organize this troop, which has mostly African-American members.
SAMAD: “ There were some members of the community that never even thought about the Boy Scouts, because it was always looked-upon as not only a Christian, but to be quite frank a lily-white organization that wasn’t open to a diverse group of people, especially the Muslim community.”
The TV package was produced by Gabriel Kramer.