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Published on Sep 22, 2008
Now almost 300 Muslim girls are in 10 mostly Muslim troops in the city. Sara Mustabshira's family moved here from India 12 years ago. She goes to a private Muslim school where she joined the girl scouts. Her mother says scouting has helped the fifth-grader bridge two worlds - Islam and America.Sara says, ''Before I was shy to talk with other people and now I talk with other people.'' And, about feeling comfortable in her American skin under traditional Muslim dress. Sara says, ''Sometimes when I go to public places and I'm wearing my hijab and people are staring at me.'' Historian Susan Miller says scouting has always been a way for immigrants in America to assimilate. Susan Miller says, ''We think about the Girl Scouts sometimes as a traditional organization, as very much a part of the American culture, and they were, and they were a part of that culture because they did from the beginning include just about everyone.'' Sometimes that means tweaking old traditions, in Minneapolis, the s'mores are the genuine article, but the hot dogs are made according to Islamic dietary law. Susan Miller says, ''These girls can wear the Girl Scout sash and they can wear the hijab at the same time. This is not a contradiction.'' All of which makes these girls feel right at home. Priya David, CBS News, Minneapolis