BY Neil Nagraj DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Friday, February 12th 2010
A body of North American Islamic scholars has issued a fatwa, or religious decree, forbidding Muslims from passing through the devices, the Detroit -Free Press reports, saying they violate the faith’s teachings on modesty.
“It is a violation of clear Islamic teachings that men or women be seen naked by other men and women,” the ruling, issued by The Fiqh Council of North America, states.
“Islam highly emphasizes haya (modesty) and considers it part of faith. The Quran has commanded the believers, both men and women, to cover their private parts.”
Another Muslim group, The Council on American-Islamic Relations, backed the proclamation.
“We support the Fiqh 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,” Nihad Awad, national executive director of CAIR, told the Detroit Free Press.
The machines at issue render a detailed outline of the scanned individual’s body that the Transportation Security Administration says is immediately destroyed.
The TSA says going through the scanners is “optional to all passengers.” Individuals can refuse the screening, the newspaper reports, and instead be patted down by a TSA guard.
The employment of full-body scanners has come under fire from civil libertarians, who say the devices are analogous to a strip search.