Christian Sued Scouts after being Ousted over Islam Complaint; Settled Case

Country: United Kingdom

Date of incident: September 9, 2018

A man from Bristol whose membership to the Scout Association was cancelled took legal action, claiming he has been discriminated against on account of his Christian faith.

Brian Walker says his membership was unfairly taken away after he expressed fears the organisation was increasingly promoting Islam and moving away from its Christian roots. The 62 year old said: "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."

Mr. Walker wrote to the Scout Association's official magazine on 18th March 2017 to warn the organisation was also increasing promoting political correctness and interfaith issues above Christian values. He was sent a letter four days later by the local District Commander, informing him he was no longer a member of the organisation.

Mr. Walker, who lives in the Brislington area of Bristol, was told that his views did not reflect the inclusive nature of Scouting. Mr Walker unsuccessfully appealed the decision at an Appeal Committee on 7th June 2017. He is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre.

Mr. Walker, who attends the Carmel City Church in Bristol, told the committee he did not mean to offend anyone personally in his comments which referred to the organisation as a whole. A life-long scouts member, he accused of the Scout Association of "making a mockery of what was once a respectable organisation" by its emphasis on Islam, as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex issues.

In September 2018, Walker received a payment of £1,500 from the Scouts in an out-of-court settlement and, in turn, he withdrew his discrimination claim due to go to court in November. The Scout Association said "this settlement does not imply that we accept Mr Walker's claim made against us or his view of the world. The Scouts do not accept Mr Walker was right when he made his offensive comments". In a statement, the Christian Legal Centre announced that Walker decided to donate his compensation to the Centre to support the work of challenging anti-Christian discrimination.  

Sources: Premier here and hereThe TimesThe Express and Mirror