British Muslim women barred from flight after refusing body scanner
Two Muslim women in Britain who refused to be screened by a full body airport scanner were subsequently stopped from boarding a flight to Pakistan, a spokesman for Manchester airport said Wednesday.
During the incident, which happened two weeks ago, the women cited religious and medical reasons respectively for their refusal to pass through the scanner, introduced at major British airports last month, DPA reported.
"Two female passengers who were booked to fly out of Terminal 2 refused to be scanned for medical and religious reasons. In accordance with the government directive on scanners, they were not permitted to fly," an airport spokeswoman said.
The women decided they would forfeit their tickets for the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight to Islamabad.
The spokeswoman said more than 15,000 people chosen for random checks had passed through the scanners since they were introduced.
The controversial X-ray machines allow security staff to check for any concealed weapons or explosives while showing clear outlines of passengers' genitals. Civil liberties campaigners have criticized the scanners as an invasion of privacy.