Muslim NGO scores a major victory against “strip search” body scanners

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.”

Muslim Athletes Disadvantaged in 2012 Olympic Games in London

The 2012 Olympic Games in London will coincide with the month of Ramadan, and therein disadvantage fasting Muslim athletes, says this article in Islam Pluriel. Approximately one quarter of the 11 099 athletes in the 2004 Games in Athens came from Muslim-majority countries. Massoud Shadjareh, president of the Islam Association of Human Rights based in London stated that the games would not have been organized during Christmas celebrations, so to have them during Ramadan demonstrates a lack of sensitivity.