*** religious youth groups organizations religious focus Imam al Mahdi Scouting Movement








Imam al Mahdi Scouting Movement (Lebanon)

Imam al Mahdi Scouting Movement
Figure 1.--The Imam al Mahdi Scouting Movement desribes activitiees at its camps like fishing and camping. Here is a photograph from their camp.

A reflection of the positive image of Scouting is the fact that Hezbollah uses the term Scouting for its youth movement--the Imam al Mahdi scouting movement. While the group maintains a fasade of Scouting, its program is hardly in keeping with the principles of Scouting. The core of the movement is religious. Islam is, however, is a religion with a political foundation and this this group might also be categorized a nationalist group. It differs fundametally from Scouting. The group seems more in keeping with the Hitler Youth than the Scouting movement. Today Lebanon is a failed state. The people are suffering from a collapsing economy in a country that used to be the most dynamic in gthe Mioddle East. Hezbollah and groups like this are responsible.

Lebanese Scouting

Scouting was founded in Lebanon just before World war I (1912). Since that time it has developed a very positive image. There are 20 Lebanese Scout associations, organized along the same ethnic and religious lines that divide the country. The Scout Movement has a very positive image in the country because of the valuable swork they have done during times of crisis, in particular the Civil War.

Hezbollah

Imam al-Mahdi Scouts is the scouting organization of the Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Scouting Facade

Given the positive image of Scouting in Lebanon, it is understandable that Hezbollah would want to describe their youth movement as part of the Scouting movement. Given all the worthwhile actions of Scouting and positive activities for boys and girls, many Lebanese parents have confidence in Scouting. A 2008 posting on Wikeprdia by an Imam al Mahdi member, "Activities include camping, community service projects such as helping the disabled and cleaning places of worship, computing, fishing, team sports, boxing, reading classes, learning administrative skills, learning about Islam and protecting the environment." This would appeal to most parents. And the group offers an inexpensive summer camp.

Imam al Mahdi Scouting Movement
Figure 2.--With his flak jacket and AK-47 "scouting" rifle, this Imam al Mahdi scout is certainly prepared! The motto on the headband reads "Oh Jerusalem , I am coming."

Terrorist Training

Images from Lebanon give a better idea of the wholesome activities provided children at the Imam al Mahdi camp. It seems to be a terrorist primary school for children. According to information appearing on the Imam al-Mahdi Scouts calendar, as of 2007 more than 120 of the movement´┐Żs members died as shaheeds in Hezbollah actions, including suicide bombers ( istishhadiyyun )." br>





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Created: 5:57 PM 2/4/2008
Last updated: 5:57 PM 2/4/2008