Fiqh Council of North America Publishes Fatwa On Full-Body Scanners


The Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) has published what appears to be a fatwa (Islamic ruling) on the issue of full-body scanners at airports. According to the statement published on Islam Online:

The Full Body Security Scanners (also called Nude-body scanners) are being installed at various airports in United States and Europe. Several human rights and religious groups have expressed their concerns and disapproval of such scanners on the grounds of violation of privacy and human dignity. The Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) emphasizes that a general and public use of such scanners is against the teachings of Islam, natural law and all religions and cultures that stand for decency and modesty. 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 Qur’an has commanded the believers, both men and women, to cover their private parts. Human beings are urged to be modest in their dress. See Holy Quran, 7:26-27; 24:30-31; 33:59. Exception to this rule can be made in case of extreme necessity, such as medical treatment, to investigate a crime or in a situation of imminent danger. There must be a compelling case for the necessity and the exemption to this rule must be proportional to the demonstrated need. FCNA fully supports the necessary measures for the safety and protection of all passengers. It is, however, deeply concerned about the use of nude body scanners for this purpose. FCNA recommends that instead of producing and displaying a picture of the body, software should be designed to produce only the picture of questionable materials on an outline of the body. Further, other technologies could be used that detect the presence of explosives without infringing on modesty as some European leaders have pointed out. FCNA appreciates the alternate provision of pat-down search (when needed) and therefore recommend to Muslims to avail this option over the nude body scanners.

FCNA describes itself as “an independent body comprising qualified Islamic scholars in North America.” In reality, FCNA is an organization affiliated with the Islamic Society of North America (FCNA) and composed of Islamic scholars associated with the global Muslim Brotherhood. FCNA grew out of the activities of the Muslim Student Association (MSA) and later became affiliated with ISNA, itself an outgrowth of the MSA. FCNA maintains a relationship with other similar bodies in the global Muslim Brotherhood including the European Council for Fatwa and Research headed by Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi as well as the Islamic Fiqh Academy in Saudi Arabia. The organization is probably best known for it’s 2005 fatwa against terrorism that was criticized as falling “short of both its Spanish counterpart and a comprehensive denunciation of terror.” FCNA has also had a long-standing relationship with Amana Mutual Funds, an Islamic investment company tied to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and Saudi Arabia,

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