Given the current draconian measure of implementing nude body scanners in the UK, Muslims and others are being forced to shed the notion of decency and be exposed to strangers all in the pretext of maintaining ‘acceptable levels of security’. Indeed, the government has managed to beguile many of the public into believing these scanners are apparently for public safety, a false claim that has been dealt with by many commentators, Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
As we have recently seen, airport staff have been involved in using the scanners for personal gratification, an abhorrent phenomenon that will inevitably continue to happen. These scanners have now set a precedent whereby it is seemingly acceptable to view the genitalia of all, including our children. Ironically, the new Conservative government has now withdrawn ID cards out of concern for civil liberties, yet turns its attention from our personal information to our naked bodies.
Such measures must be seen as unacceptable to all right minded individuals, and thus, they must be withdrawn immediately. It is offensive to all those who stand for decency that the government resort to such lowly tactics to deal with terrorism, so much so that they take on the vile immorality they so quickly claim these terrorists to personify. Indeed, only a little while ago was it that the media condemningly reported that terrorists were using child pornography websites to relay messages to one another, but what for the government who now want to see our children naked?
So what to do?
In the event that the government refuses to withdraw these immoral tactics that will undoubtedly aid in the ‘radicalisation’ of our youth (a term they so fondly use), we find it totally unacceptable that if people who have been selected to be scanned refuse, they will not be allowed to fly. This idea is preposterous, and as stated by others, even the US allows individuals who refuse a scan to be patted down instead.
“And (as for) the believing men and the believing women, they are allies of one another; they enjoin good and forbid evil, they establish prayer and offer charity, they obey Allah and His Messenger. Those are the ones that Allah will show mercy to; surely Allah is Mighty and Wise.”
“Whoever amongst you sees anything objectionable, then let him change it with his hand, if he is not able, then with his tongue, and if he is not even able to do so, then with his heart, and the latter is the weakest form of faith.”
Please note that the period of consultation will end on the 21st June 2010, so it is incumbent that you take action as soon as possible. To be efficient, please send your email (addressed to Mike Alcock) to [email protected]. For those who would rather write a letter, please send your letter to:
Department for Transport
London SW1E 6DT
Please email this fatwa to all the people in your address book as well as printing it off and hanging it on the noticeboard of your local mosque – it is incumbent upon Muslims to encourage one another in this endeavour; such encouragement could be manifested in the form of Friday sermons, public announcements through Muslim media, and even raising the issue at your local mosque or Muslim community centre. Indeed Allah says,
“and help one another in birr (righteousness) and taqwa (piety), and do not help one another in ithm (sin) and ‘udwan (enmity).”
As for the email template, you could possibly write something like this:
I write to you to express my deep condemnation over the nude body airport scanners. I harshly oppose such measures since they violate the fundamental right of dignity and personal privacy. The scanners are a clear violation of morality and decency, and will undoubtedly serve as a cause of offence by the leaking of nude pictures. They infringe upon the personal rights of all, and if anything, do more to endanger public security.
I fully support essential measures which increase passenger safety; however, I refuse to accept that passenger safety may be enhanced only by means of the body scanner, or that passenger security lies in passengers being seen naked. As a people who should take pride in the notion of decency, none should be put in a position where they must choose between security and dignity – indeed, both principles are entwined with one another. We will never be able to ensure security by stripping the dignity of passengers. Given that other technologies and measures exist which are proven to detect the presence of questionable materials and/or weapons, I argue that passenger safety may be enhanced without infringing upon the rights of passengers.
In the case that such vile measures continue to be implemented, I call for the option of a pat-down search for those passengers who refuse to be scanned out of a sense of modesty and dignity. Other airports around the world have implemented such procedures, a fact that clearly indicates their effectiveness.
Thank you for your time.
Dr. Haitham al-Haddad is a jurist and serves as a judge for the Islamic Council of Europe. He has studied the Islamic sciences for over 20 years under the tutelage of renowned scholars such as the late Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia as well as the retired Head of the Kingdom’s Higher Judiciary Council. He specialises in many of the Islamic sciences and submitted his doctoral thesis on Islamic jurisprudence concerning Muslim minorities. Shaikh Haitham is highly respected having specialised knowledge in the field of fiqh, usul al-fiqh, maqasid al-shari’ah, ulum al-Qur’an, tafsir, aqidah, and fiqh al-hadith. He provides complex theories which address the role of Islamic jurisprudence within a western environment whilst also critically re-analysing the approach of Islamic jurists in forming legal rulings (ifta’) within a western socio-political context. He has many well known students most of whom are active in dawah and teaching in the West. The shaikh is an Islamic jurist (faqih) and as such is qualified to deliver verdicts as a judge under Islamic law, a role he undertakes at the Islamic Council of Europe as Islamic judge and treasurer. Dr Haitham al-Haddad also sits on various the boards of advisors for Islamic organisations, mainly in the United Kingdom but also around the world.