With All Due Respect to Political Correctness

A few weeks ago, I penned a thought on our Web site that body scanners have no place in an airport. I argued that they are invasive and unnecessary. I still feel that way, but if I have to walk through a body scanner, so should everyone else.

Some Muslim-Americans are now saying that body scanners violate Islamic law, and Muslim-American groups are supporting a “fatwa” -- a religious ruling -- that forbids Muslims from going through airport scanners. The alternative is a full-body pat down.

We’re all faced with walking through body scanners because extremist Muslims took advantage of a lax security screening system on Sept. 11, 2001, and again on Dec. 21, 2002, when shoe bomber Abdul Raheem (Richard Reid) tried to blow up an airplane. It happened again on Dec. 25, 2009, when underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallub of Nigeria tried to bring down a Northwest Airlines jet.

Lest I forget, the Transportation Security Administration implemented their 3-1-1 ruling in 2006 after three terrorists where arrested for attempting to bring bomb-making materials on board a London to New York flight. All three have been convicted.

Muslim teachings tell men and women that to be seen naked by other people is a clear violation of Islamic teachings. Islam emphasizes modesty, and its followers consider it part of their faith. I agree and applaud Islam for such high moral values. No one wants the outline of their body, shown in graphic detail, to be seen by a law enforcement official.

The bottom line seems very simple to me. We are in this situation because 19 terrorists, who had been taking advantage of the goodness of America and its citizens, murdered more than 3,000 people by hijacking airplanes and flying them into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon. These same cowards subscribe to jihad, or what they believe is a holy war, because of their religious beliefs. But then, not all Muslims believe jihad means violence.

The Fiqh Council of North America says that body scanners violate Islamic law. Last time I checked, Islamic law has no bearing or standard in the United States. But I still believe that body scanners are invasive to passengers, Muslim or not.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.

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