TWO Muslim women have become the first passengers to refuse to subject themselves to controversial “nude” full body airport scans in Britain.
The pair – who security officials insist were selected at random – opted to miss their flight to Pakistan and forfeit tickets worth $670 each.
One of the women refused to go through the full-body scanner at Manchester Airport on religious grounds, while her companion 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.
An estimated 15,000 people have already been through the scanners, with the pair the only ones reported to have refused.
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 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.
But civil liberties campaigners say the incident could form the basis of a legal test case to challenge the use of the devices.
Alex Deane, director of Big Brother Watch, said the organisation would represent the women if they wished to challenge the decision in court.
“People shouldn’t have to sacrifice their health, their faith, their dignity, or their privacy in order to fly,” he said.