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,” the 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,” the FCNA indicated that passenger body scans do not rise to that level.
The 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.
The FCNA is an affiliate of the Islamic Society of North America, which advises and educates its members and officials “on matters related to the application of Shari’ah (Islamic law) in their individual and collective lives in the North American environment.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations also issued a News release on Wednesday, endorsing the FCNA’s statement on the use of body scanners.