Sunday, February 14, 2010

Media screws up again, misusing the word Fatwa


Media chose the title: Muslim-American body issues fatwa against airport body scanners
The actual title: The statement of the FCNA on the use of full body scanners for security at the airports and other places

The criticism of the word usage in the article above serves to point how the media morons continue to falsify the statements, not pointing out the suggestions and alternatives FCNA had offered, instead choosing the words that will make a mockery with ill-intentions

I went to FCNA site as suggested by Dr. Louay Safi, Ibrahim Hooper and Dr. Adrian Decker, they actually used the word “Statement” and not “Fatwa” as the media across the world reported through the not so “free press”.

FCNA made aware of the alternatives, but the media presented it differently. Media used the words "religious rulings" and “Fatwa” concoction to mis-lead the public.

It puts a burden on the society, at least on the ones reading it, to stop the malignant propaganda from spreading, peace and good will should be the foundations of the society and not falsities and propaganda.

My burden is to let the idiots in media know, not to misquote and spread it around the globe. An appeal will be designed to go the list of all newspapers, appealing them to take the responsibility for quoting correctly from here on.

All I ask of you is to sign it.

Mike Ghouse


The statement of the FCNA on the use of full body scanners for security at the airports and other places

(Issued on February 9, 2010)

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.

~ ~ ~

Now read the media report:

Muslim-American body issues fatwa against airport body scanners

IANS, 12 February 2010, 12:47pm IST

Text Size:

WASHINGTON: Some Muslim-American groups are supporting a fatwa issued by a body of Islamic scholars forbidding Muslims from going through full body scanners at airports, a media report said.

The Fiqh Council of North America issued the religious ruling this week that says going through the airport scanners would violate Islamic rules on modesty, Free Press reported.

"It is a violation of clear Islamic teachings that men or women be seen naked by other men and women," reads the fatwa issued Tuesday. "Islam highly emphasises haya (modesty) and considers it part of faith. The Quran has commanded the believers, both men and women, to cover their private parts."

After the Christmas Day bombing attempt in Detroit by a Muslim suspect from Nigeria, some US airports are now in the process of buying and using the body scanners to find explosives and other dangerous materials carried by terrorists.

But Muslim groups say the scanners, which show in graphic detail the outlines of a person's body, go against their religion. One option offered to passengers who don't want to use the scanners would be a pat down by a security guard. The Muslim groups are urging members to undergo those instead.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) says it endorses the fatwa. "We support the Fiqh Council's statement on full-body scanners and believe that the religious and privacy rights of passengers can be respected while maintaining safety and security," Nihad Awad, national executive director of CAIR was quoted as saying.

Currently, there are 40 full-body scanners at 19 airports in the US, including two in Detroit, said spokesman Jim Fotenos of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). There are plans for 450 more body scanners in US airports, he said.

In a statement, the TSA said it is committed to keeping passengers safe and also protecting their privacy.

"TSA's mission is to keep the travelling public safe. Advanced imaging technologies are an important tool in a multi-layered security system to detect evolving threats such as improvised explosive devices.

"TSA's use of these technologies includes strong protections in place to safeguard passenger privacy. Screening images are automatically deleted, and the officer viewing the image will never see the passenger."

The TSA stressed that the body scanners are "optional to all passengers". Those who turn them down, "will receive equivalent screening that may include a physical pat-down, hand-wanding, and other technologies".

"Physical pat-downs are performed by transportation security Officers of the same sex as the passenger in a private screening area, if the passenger requests."

Body scanners "do not produce photos", the agency said. Rather, the images "look like chalk outlines".

My Original comments to the above:

Bad Fatwa by Muslim-American body about airport body scanners

Speak up Muslims

The word "Fatwa" is wrongfully associated with "death threats", it may be wise for us, until we educate the public that it is merely an opinion, and instead use the word "Opinion". The word Fatwa carries a negative perception and until it is removed, it is not wise to use the word in this context. After all, we are using the English language to communicate and let the language be in English.

Furthermore, this "Fatwa" will be wrongfully propagated as Anti-American, which it is not, but the right wing media thrives on it, hate is their food and they will spew it out in the media. I just want to assure you, the majority, indeed the overwhelming majority of Americans would understand and silently support it, but they are good for nothing, just like the majority of Jews, Christians, Muslims or Hindus are good for nothing, they do nothing about anything.

Our wisdom should prevail and as Muslims one of our roles is to mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill, it was one of the first examples set by the prophet when he reset the Aswad stone back into the wall of Kaaba.

I would urge Muslims to use the word "Opinion", that is what it is, it is not a legal binding enforceable opinion, at least in America.

The question is the safety of 301 Million Americans and we cannot compromise that, if we take the opposite stance, it will become an instrument of wedge. We had better think about such pronouncements. Work with the system, the system will work with you. America is the best hope for mankind.

Rogue run states like France may take the cue from it, and just to piss off Muslims, they may go ahead and do it, the idiot Geert Wilders will feast on it. What are we going to do about it? Nothing! What have we done with Switzerland, France, Australia and some other nations, nothing! What have we done with the human rights violations in Sudan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iran, nothing! Then let's not give thoughtless opinions that affect the average Muslim, who is living his American dream of a home, a family, kids and retirement.

Did any scholar have had a chance to look at it and speak up against it? Let no opinion come out without any one opposing it, opposing has a corrective and tempering element in it that sets things right. Even the Prophet invited opinions, for what? To understand if there is another point of view.

Speak up Muslims, silent no more

Mike Ghouse
World Muslim Congress

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