Following the failed xmas day plane bombing in the US, PM Gordon Brown has announced, today, that the full body scanner is to be introduced in all our airports.
This controversial piece of machinery is said to show, on a screen, the parts of us that are only normally to be examined by members of the medical profession, or our loved ones. An earlier attempt to install this technology proved unpopular with the public. So, it is no surprise that the failed xmas day bombing is being used as a great opportunity to promote an increased fear of terrorism and convince us all it is needed.
In reality, a full body scanner is unlikely to have revealed the substances that were concealed in the underpants of Umar Farouk Addulmatallab. When he detonated his bomb, he did rather more damage to his person, than he did to the rest of the plane.
Whether this was an amateurish failure on his part or just a malfunction of the chemicals is unsure but what is certain is that he should have been detected by the intelligence services and prevented from joining the plane in the first place. He was, ultimately, not restrained by members of the security services but by fellow passengers.
However, what I find to be of more interest is that use of the full body scanner is unlikely to be very popular with members of the Muslim faith. In everyday life, the women are discouraged from showing any part of their bodies to other men, so it is unlikely they are going to be keen on security staff, at airports, being able to examine their true ‘form’ normally hidden from our view.
There lies the dilemma.
Does our government make a concession to travelling Muslim women exempting them from being scanned? Alienating the Muslim vote in the UK is to lose a lot of crosses on the ballot form at the next election.
In such a case, it would make a mockery of the need for these machines in the first place, after all, the chosen religious belief of most of the world’s terrorists seems to be Muslim.
Alternatively, does the government guarantee that Muslim women are only scanned by fellow Muslim women security personnel, in which case, is this practical?
A dilemma to be sure but as a final thought, how long do you think it will be before the first claim for compensation reaches the courts, from an airport security officer who’s sex life has failed miserably, after looking at all those naked shapes everyday?
After all, some nightmares never cease!!