Exclusive: Pity Party Time – Muslim Scholars Say Airport Body Scanners Violate Teachings of Islam

by PAM MEISTER February 12, 2010
This just in:
A group of Muslim scholars says it supports airline safety, but it is "deeply concerned" about the use of airport scanners that show nude images of the human body.
“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,” the group said in a Feb. 10 statement posted at Islam Online.
"It is a violation of clear Islamic teachings that men or women be seen naked by other men and women," FCNA explained. The group noted that Islam emphasizes modesty, considering it part of the faith. "The Qur'an has commanded the believers, both men and women, to cover their private parts" and to be modest in their dress.
While exceptions can be made in cases of "extreme necessity," FCNA indicated that passenger body scans do not rise to that level.
Airport scanners that show nude images go against my sense of dignity. Does that count for something? They also go against my sense of … well, sense. And I’m not alone. Americans support “subjecting airline passengers to more intensive security checks if they fit a profile of terrorists based on age, ethnicity and gender” by a margin of 3 to 1. What point is there in subjecting Granny from Miami to the indignity of a having what’s under her bloomers exposed to the world when it’s more likely going to be Abdullah from Yemen with the explosives in his nether regions?
Plus, as Steve Chapman points out at Reason.com:
The more intractable problem is that terrorists are fiendishly capable of adaptation. If the scanners can find plastic explosives hidden in underwear – which is not guaranteed – the evildoers have another option that would foil these gadgets: hiding the bomb in a body cavity.
Exactly. Jihadists are constantly trying to improve upon their craft. If at first you don’t succeed, etc.
But if we cannot “discriminate” by “profiling” at the airport due to the ridiculous strictures of PC, then the indignity must be suffered by all. And, if the U.S. goes the same route as the UK, if you are chosen for a scan and refuse, you can’t board your flight.
FCNA is asking for changes in scanner software so the machines will produce only body outlines. In the meantime, the group says Muslim travelers should choose pat-down searches over scanner images – in cases where searches are necessary.
In other words, Muslims are asking for more special privileges in the name of religion. Footbaths at the airport were not enough, it seems. Now, they expect to be exempted from a security measure that was implemented because we aren’t allowed to profile …well, Muslims.
Are there any other religions that are asking for exemptions from this security policy because being seen nude goes against their teachings? If so, I haven’t heard about it. Anyone? Bueller?
An interesting note about the Fiqh Council of North America from Jihad Watch:
The Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) is affiliated with ISNA, which is a Muslim Brotherhood group. The Brotherhood is dedicated in its own words to "eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within."
The Investigative Project also notes that a number of FCNA members have terrorism and extremism ties.
Will this become yet another “civil rights” issue for Muslims? As far as I can tell, air travel itself is not a right for anyone, unless that’s somehow been added to the Constitution while I wasn’t looking. And until our government gets a modicum of a clue when it comes to jihad and how to effectively combat it, then anyone choosing to travel by plane must be willing to sacrifice dignity for whatever safety it affords.
Pam Meister is the editor of FamilySecurityMatters.org.

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