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Monday, February 15, 2010

Muslims warned not to go through airport body scanners because they violate Islamic rules on nudity

Islamic scholars have forbidden Muslim travellers from passing through full body scans at airports because they violate religious rules on nudity.

The Fiqh Council of North America issued a fatwa, or religious ruling, yesterday warning Muslims not to go through the scanners.

‘It is a violation of clear Islamic teachings that men or women be seen naked by other men and women,’ read the order.

‘Islam highly emphasises haya (modesty) and considers it part of faith. The Quran has commanded the believers, both men and women, to cover their private parts,’ it added.

Some Muslim-American groups were said to be supporting the fatwa last night.

The powerful council of ten scholars that issued the fatwa is affiliated with the Islamic Society of North America.

The ruling won support last night from the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

'We support the Figh Council’s statement on full-body scanners and believe that the religious and privacy rights of passengers can be respected while maintaining safety and security,’ said national director Nihad Awad.

If true, this is a spectacular own goal by the worthies in the Fiqh council. Way to go, guys, nice way to bugger around with security standards and make the Muslim community and travellers be well liked and integrated. Just check out the comments on the daily mail page to see what this is doing to interfaith relations. If true, these guys are serious muppets. They should have been considering what their impact would be. Also check out their site. This is what they say:

The statement of the FCNA on the ose of full body scanners for security at the airports and other places

(Issued on February 9, 2010)
The Full Body Security Scanners (also called Nude-body scanners) are being installed at various airports in United States and Europe. Several human rights and religious groups have expressed their concerns and disapproval of such scanners on the grounds of violation of privacy and human dignity. The Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) emphasizes that a general and public use of such scanners is against the teachings of Islam, natural law and all religions and cultures that stand for decency and modesty.

It is a violation of clear Islamic teachings that men or women be seen naked by other men and women. Islam highly emphasizes ‘haya’ (modesty) and considers it part of faith. The Qur’an has commanded the believers, both men and women, to cover their private parts. Human beings are urged to be modest in their dress. See Holy Quran, 7:26-27; 24:30-31; 33:59. Exception to this rule can be made in case of extreme necessity, such as medical treatment, to investigate a crime or in a situation of imminent danger. There must be a compelling case for the necessity and the exemption to this rule must be proportional to the demonstrated need.

FCNA fully supports the necessary measures for the safety and protection of all passengers. It is, however, deeply concerned about the use of nude body scanners for this purpose. FCNA recommends that instead of producing and displaying a picture of the body, software should be designed to produce only the picture of questionable materials on an outline of the body. Further, other technologies could be used that detect the presence of explosives without infringing on modesty as some European leaders have pointed out. FCNA appreciates the alternate provision of pat-down search (when needed) and therefore recommend to Muslims to avail this option over the nude body scanners.

Dont they see the exception, “in case of crime investigation”? so a chalky outline is outraging the modesty of Muslims? Good heavens.