Press Release

Veteran Christian Scout dismissed for challenging growing promotion of Islam in British Scouting

11 February 2018         Issued by: Christian Legal Centre

A Christian who has dedicated a lifetime to the Scout Movement has been barred from membership for writing to the movement’s official magazine expressing his concern that the charity was moving away from its Christian roots.

Even though the letter, sent to the Editor on 18 March 2017 was never published, Brian Walker, 62, from Brislington, was sent a letter just four days later by the District Commissioner for Bristol South, Scott Stowell dismissing him.

Mr Stowell said: “the views you have portrayed in your email (letter) do not reflect the inclusive nature of Scouting” ….”do not fit within the Equal Opportunities policy” …. and “in light of your email … I have discussed your Membership with the Appointments Advisory Committee and we have concluded that your Scouting membership should be cancelled with immediate effect”.

In Mr Walker’s letter to ‘Scouting’, the quarterly magazine of the movement, he stated his belief that the movement was promoting political correctness and interfaith issues, even encouraging scouts to visit a mosque but, for St George’s Day, advising them to be careful to choose a non-religious venue for any service or celebration!

He stated that in the Scouting Faith Calendar, there was no meaning attached to the two main Christian festivals of Christmas and Easter, but that Islam was widely promoted.  He called for the magazine to be careful in promoting Islam, given the way the religion treats women and their rights.  He also stated that the magazine, instead of promoting the core values of scouting, was promoting Islam, LGBTQI and was “making a mockery of what was once a respectable organisation”.

Mr Walker, supported by the Christian Legal Centre, appealed his dismissal from the organisation.

However, in a meeting of the Appeal Committee on 7 June 2017, although Mr Walker stated  “I did not mean to offend anyone personally, but was making a wider point about the values of Scouting”, the panel agreed with the original decision and advised Mr Walker that his membership was cancelled.

Mr Walker, who attends Carmel City Church in Bristol, is now taking legal action against The Scout Association for discrimination against him on the grounds of his Christian faith saying  that it has acted against its own Equal Opportunities Policy.  Papers have been filed and a court date is now awaited.

Mr Walker said: “Scouting was started in 1908 by Sir Robert Baden-Powell, based on Christian principles, whilst welcoming those of all faiths and none.  Over recent years, I have been concerned that the movement has increasingly promoted Islam above  Christianity. Islam is not what has given the scouting movement  its inclusive and welcoming nature.

“The irony is that the Chief Scout is Bear Grylls, an internationally-known Christian who is the figure-head for the Alpha Course – which specifically states that Jesus is the only way to God and that Christianity is unique!  Their own Chief Scout believes this, and says this publicly, and yet, when I, as a life-long grassroots member, challenge the values in a letter which is not even published, I am silenced and dismissed.

“I am raising this case as I believe the fundamental values of Scouting are being undermined.  Parents need to be made aware of what is happening at the centre of Scouting, and will eventually flow out into the local groups.  We need to act now to maintain and protect the values on which the movement was based.”

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