4 February 2013
UK based Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) finally succeeded in its campaign against “strip search” body scanners that are expected to be introduced in the UK airports. It was a government measure to prevent a terrorist strike similar to 9/11; the scanner was thought to be more efficient in detecting explosive material.
However, a number of faith and civil liberties groups, especially Muslims, globally objected the scanners on several grounds. These included the breach of civil liberties, health issues, the explicit nature of the body scanners and storage of images taken by the scanner. In addition it has been argued that the scanners could not detect plastics and liquids which had been given as a reason for their introduction.
IHRC has been a leading campaigner against the scanner and it supported the legal action by a former a IHRC employee against the government’s policy on scanners. The legal action had been given the right to proceed to a full judicial review.
Upon the decision of the court the UK government announced the cancellation of the plan to install the scanners.
The Chair of IHRC, Massoud Shadjareh considered the decision as “a massive victory for the Muslim community:
“IHRC has campaigned and lobbied against airport scanners, which cost £100,000 each, since their introduction and contributed to government consultation on the issue as early as 2010. With continued campaigning and action by IHRC, this decision by the British government is a massive victory for the Muslim community and all who believe in civil liberties.”