Body scanning illegal, says Deoband fatwa
By Rizwan Khatik - Mon Mar 12, 3:35 am
Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband, known for its trigger finger on “fatwas”, has said that “body scanning” is “haram” (illegal) in the eye of Islam and the Muslims should refuse to allow themselves to be scanned and strive to secure legal exemption from such screening.
In a new religious decree, the seminary, in a reply to a query from a UK-based Muslim, made it clear that Islam doesn’t allow scanning of the body and that it was “prohibited.” Mufti Mahmood Hasan of Darul Ifta (department of fatwa) at the seminary issued the decree on Saturday.
A questioner from the UK had in his query said he and his family, while travelling by air from UK’s Manchester airport recently, was instructed to be scanned by the new ‘backscatter’ (full body scanner) while passing through security checks.
He said his six-year-old son and nine-year-old daughter also underwent similar checks with no prior information; he came to know about the body scanning only after it was completed.
“I was furious and outraged and complained to the authorities, but was told that we would not be permitted to board the plane without the body scan. I also believe that my fully veiled wife would have been scanned if I had not complained strongly,’’ he said.
Though the authorities told him that passengers had the right to have their scanned image viewed by a staff member of the same sex, this protocol was ignored in their case.
He sought to know if a “full body scanning” violated the Islamic law and if it was permissible for a Muslim to be screened by full body scanners. He also wanted to know if the scanned image of a Muslim can be viewed by a person of the same sex and should a Muslim refuse to be screened.