Can you give Scouts canoe lessons while wearing a full Islamic veil?

Sep 9, 2018 by

By Sarah Oliver and Jonathan Petre, Mailonline:

As a devoted Scout master, Brian Walker has spent decades teaching children how to canoe and climb hills, abseil down cliffs, pitch tents, build fires and cook bangers.

But last year – after more than half a century since he first joined the movement – he was thrown out, he says, like ‘an old slipper’.

What had he done to deserve summary expulsion?

Well, in an outburst which may be considered incendiary in our politically correct times, the British Canoe Union instructor had dared to suggest that a fellow leader, a Muslim woman, might endanger children by taking them out on the water in her niqab face veil.

How could she jump in to rescue a Scout in difficulty? How could she navigate her own canoe properly beneath her veil? How could she be sure her instructions were being seen and heard?

[…] He was dismissed from his post as assistant leader of an Explorer Scout pack in his home city of Bristol by a letter, which stated that his views ‘do not fit within the Equal Opportunities Policy’ or the Scout values of ‘integrity, respect, care and belief’.

He was forbidden from wearing his uniform and badges or having anything to do with Scout Association paperwork, never mind children.

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