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Reading Nudity: Rethinking the Issue of the Body Scanner


The paper makes a decidedly radical re-reading of the installation of body scanners in Britain and the US, so as to question the singular emphasis on security that discussions about these machines have had so far. The author analyses the Muslim response to these scanners and draws attention to certain shortcomings in those responses. He also argues that the impulse to install these machines has been irrational as much as rational. The paper also makes a bold challenge to the Obama administration by questioning how different his administration is or can really be. This latter task is accomplished by reading the enthusiasm that existed when Obama came to power as an enthusiasm for transition, yet, the author argues, transition is a highly fraught gesture and the body scanners show this up in particular.


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About Syed Haider

A PhD candidate at SOAS and English teacher.


  1. Jaafar El-Murad

    Reading Nudity: Rethinking the Issue of the Body Scanner
    Sadly I wasted 20 minutes of my life reading this, thinking I might find some new, important and interesting angle on the issue.

  2. this is just wrong!!!!!! unbelivable, so what if it’ll be destryed you’ll still look at it !!!

  3. Body Scanning
    The matter at hand is safety and not the admiration or curiosity of ones body. Because of all the attempts of destruction and killings of innocent people in the name of some ideals that are misguided, I to believe all attempts at safety should be implemented.

  4. A University student

    Would you like your own mother or daughter to be viewed naked?

  5. Issue of the Body Scanner
    As a woman-with modest values-I would prefer not travelling at all rather than face those nude scanners. May the administration speak sense.

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