On February 9th, the Fiqh Council of North America -- a body of Islamic scholars established for "advising and educating its members and officials on matters related to the application of ShariÌah in their individual and collective lives in the North American environment" -- issued a fatwa that forbids Muslims from going through body scanners at airports. According to the FCNA:
[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.Rather than the scanners now being installed, 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.As reported by the Detroit Free Press:
The decision could complicate efforts to intensify screening of potential terrorists who are Muslim. After the Christmas Day bombing attempt in Detroit by a Muslim suspect from Nigeria, some have called for the use of body scanners at airports to find explosives and other dangerous materials carried by terrorists. Some airports are now in the process of buying and using the body scanners, which show in graphic detail the outlines of a person’s body.MORE:
From the March 3rd Times (London):
A Muslim woman was barred from boarding a flight after she refused to undergo a full body scan for religious reasons.(via The Corner)
The passenger was passing through security at Manchester Airport when she was selected at random for a full-body scanner.