BY Caitlin O’Connell
DAILY NEWS WRITER
Wednesday, March 3rd 2010, 5:13 PM
The full-body scanners in question render a detailed outline of the scanned invidividual’s body. A fatwa issued in early February has forbidden Muslims from passing through the device.
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Following the issue of a fatwa last month forbidding Muslims from passing through controversial full-body scanners, two Muslim women at Manchester Airport in England became the first passengers to refuse a scan, the Daily Mail reports.
Although the Transportation Security Administration has said that going through the scanners is optional for all passengers, according to a report in the Detroit Free Press, the two women were barred from their flight to Pakistan in accordance with a directive from the English government.
The women were traveling together to Islamabad when they were selected at random by security officials to be screened with the full-body scanner. According to The Daily Mail, one of the women refused to pass through because of religious objections, while the other cited medical reasons.
Airport staff then informed the women that they would not be allowed to board the Pakistan International Airlines flight if they were not willing to be scanned. The women agreed to forfeit their tickets, valued at about $600 each, and leave the airport with their luggage.
An estimated 15,000 people already have passed through the scanners since they were introduced at Heathrow and Manchester airports on Feb. 5, including Muslim passengers. The women were the first to refuse to be scanned.
The machines render a detailed naked outline of the scanned individual’s body that the Transportation Security Administration says is immediately destroyed.
Full-body scanners have not only come under fire from Islamic scholars for violating the faith’s teachings on modesty, but also from civil libertarians, who say the devices are analogous to a strip search.