Two Muslim women have become the first passengers to refuse to subject themselves to controversial 'naked' full body airport scans, it emerged today.
The pair - who security officials insist were selected at random - opted to miss their flight to Pakistan and forfeit tickets worth £400 each rather than be screened.
One of the women refused to go through the full-body scanner at Manchester Airport on religious grounds while her companion also declined for 'medical reasons'.
The women were travelling together to Islamabad when they were selected to pass through the controversial security screen after checking-in at Terminal Two at the airport.
An estimated 15,000 people have already passed through the scanners, with the pair the first passengers to refuse a scan.
Naked scan: A Manchester Airport employee tests the scanner, with suspicious substances in his pockets that show up as a dark colour identified in the red squares
Both told airport staff they were not willing to be scanned. They were warned they would not be allowed to board the Pakistan International Airlines flight if they refused.
The pair decided they would rather forfeit their £400 tickets and left the airport with their luggage.
The £80,000 scanners were introduced at Heathrow and Manchester airports on February 5.
The X-ray machines allow security staff to see a 'naked' image of passengers to show up hidden weapons and explosives, but it has attracted criticism for also showing clear outlines of passengers' genitals.
Manchester Airport confirmed the passengers had refused to be scanned but said it had received no complaint from the women.
The women were travelling together to Islamabad in Pakistan when they were selected to pass through the controversial security screen
However, civil liberties campaigners say the incident could form the basis of a legal test case to challenge the use of the Rapiscan device in airports.
Last month, Transport Secretary Lord Adonis stressed that an interim code of practice on the use of body scanners stipulated that passengers would not be selected 'on the basis of personal characteristics'.
Two weeks ago, a week after the scanners were introduced at Manchester and Heathrow airports, Islamic scholars in the U.S. said Muslim travellers should not pass through the scanners because they violate religious rules on nudity.
The Fiqh Council of North America issued a fatwa, or religious ruling, warning Muslims not to go through the scanners.
‘It is a violation of clear Islamic teachings that men or women be seen naked by other men and women,’ read the order.
‘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.'
In the U.S., there are now 40 scanners in 19 airports and could be as many as 450 by the end of the year.
The powerful council of ten scholars that issued the fatwa is affiliated with the Islamic Society of North America.
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