A SCOUT master kicked out after comparing a Muslim colleague to Darth Vader has been awarded £1,500 compensation for his dismissal.
Brian Walker, 63, received the out-of-court settlement after launching a discrimination claim against the organisation he spent more than 50 years representing.
He was expelled after flagging safety concerns over a fellow master – a Muslim woman – who planned to lead activities wearing a niqab face veil.
Mr Walker questioned how she could rescue a young Scout from water, take part in physical tasks such as abseiling or canoeing and be sure her instructions were being heard.
He went on to say Zaina Kothdiwala, head of an all-girl Scout pack in Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire, looked like Darth Vader.
The Scout Association ruled Mr Wilson was in breach of its diversity and equality rules and dismissed him from his post.
Mr Walker sent an e-mail to the Scouts’ official magazine in March 2017 to complain it was promoting Islam while neglecting its Christian origins before singling out an article about Ms Kothdiwala.
He wrote: “You spend more time promoting Muslims, lesbians, homosexuals, bisexuals, transgender. [Lord] Baden-Powell [who founded it on Christian lines] would be horrified.
“Hello! Canoeists don’t dress like this… because they need all-round unobstructed vision… Of course they will most likely drown wearing that Darth Vader tent!”
Ms Kothdiwala had previously told the magazine: “It’s not about being Muslim, it’s about being human. A couple of times we’ve been out on hikes in our hijabs and neckers, and people have come up to us and given us lots of positive comments.
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“It’s not a barrier; it doesn’t stop me from doing anything. I’m bossy. Nobody can say I’m repressed.”
A Scouts spokesman said said: “This settlement does not imply that we accept Mr Walker’s claim made against us or his view of the world.
“As a charity, we had to weigh up whether it was worth using our limited time and money on a costly and prolonged legal dispute. In this case, we decided it was in our best interests to settle this matter out of court.”