As Erum Ikramullah prepared to head to Reagan National Airport on Thursday for a flight, she mulled over two distasteful choices: the body scanner or the pat-down?
Ever since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a trip to the airport has been fraught for Muslims, who sometimes feel they are being profiled as potential terrorists because of their religion. The addition of full-body scanners, which many say violate Islam's requirements of modesty, has increased the discomfort.
Muslims aren't alone in their antipathy toward the new security measures. Followers of other religions, including Sikhs and some Orthodox Jews and evangelical Christians, also say the scanners and pat-downs make them uncomfortable or breach the tenets of their faiths.
But Muslim women have been particularly reluctant to subject themselves to the scanners, which reveal the contours of the human body in glaring detail.