February 14, 2010
the inside skinny on the fatwa of the fiqh
In a recent news item I wish I didn't have to take seriously, the Shariah-promoting Fiqh Council of North America is claiming that airport body scanners violate Islamic law. The Detroit Free Press says this could complicate airline screening:
In a move that could complicate airport screening, a group of Muslim-American scholars issued a religious ruling this week that called upon the faithful to not go through body scanners because the scholars said the machines violate Islamic rules on nudity.The Fiqh Council's goal is to make American Muslims follow Shariah Law. (To ensure "that the dealings of North American Muslims fall within the parameters of what is permitted by the Shari'ah.") While I don't especially like the idea of body scanning, if they are limited to airport passenger screening the argument can be made that no one is forced to go through them, because no one is forced to fly. If they started scanning people on the street without warrants, that would violate the constitutional prohibition on illegal search and seizure. That's because this is the United States, and we are governed by the Constitution. The damned Shariah has nothing to do with it.
As far as I'm concerned, people who have objections grounded in Shariah Law can just stay the hell off the planes.
Please, just go ahead and obey the fatwa!
"It is a violation of clear Islamic teachings that men or women be seen naked by other men and women," reads the fatwa. "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."OK, right there I see a problem, and it isn't a necessarily fatwa-related one. Not only does offering same-sex pat-downs discriminate on the basis of sex, but it offers no guarantee that everyone will be comfortable with the pat-down. I mean, what's the idea here? To make sure the patter-downer is not turned on? Or to make sure that the pattee-downee is not creeped out by some lech? Merely having the patter-downers be the same sex hardly eliminates this problem, especially if we consider the sexual orientation issue. Why, for example, is it fair for gay male passengers to get patted down by men (or lesbians by women) whether they like it or not, while heterosexuals are not patted down by members of the opposite sex? And none of this addresses the further issue of the patter-downers themselves possibly being turned on by the subject of the search.
All in violation of someone or another's religious principles, no doubt!
What would the Shariah say? Shouldn't there at least be a fatwa against making heterosexual Muslims submit to pat-down searches by gay American TSA employees when the latter get turned on by the search?
The two members of the Fiqh Council from Michigan are Imam Hassan Qazwini of the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn and Imam Ali Suleiman Ali of the Canton Mosque. "Fiqh" means Islamic jurisprudence.Well bully for the bullies at CAIR!
Maybe these scanners are a better idea than I realized.
And I still think that hiring sexy hookers to conduct the searches is an idea whose time has come!
posted by Eric on 02.14.10 at 06:37 PM
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