In a story almost too parodical to be true, it is being reported that Muslim groups in the United States (I repeat, “the United States”, not Europe), have issued a fatwa against body scanners now being introduced at airports to combat the threat from terrorism.
Cited by the Huffington Post, the Metro Detroit section of the freep.com website quotes The Fiqh Council of North America, a symposium comprising leading Islamic scholars, as saying:
“It is a violation of clear Islamic teachings that men or women be seen naked by other men and women…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.”
The ruling has also been supported by The Council on American-Islamic Relations which said:
“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.”
Sorry, hold on a second. At which point did the Council on American-Islamic Relations become experts in counter-terrorism policy? No one likes airport security and few would be anything less then put out at the prospect of body scanners. But the reason we have such measures is that terrorism — almost exclusively inspired by militant Islam — is a threat that needs to be dealt with.
The decision to turn the question of airport security into a zero sum game between Muslims and non-Muslims is not merely a piece of obnoxious bigotry that will unnecessarily inflame intercommunal relations, it provides a stark and depressing reminder of just how committed even mainstream and “moderate” Muslim groups in the Western world really are in the fight against Islamist terror.