Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary accused of “racism” for saying terrorists are ‘generally Muslim men’

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Ryanair chief Michael told the Times that potential terrorists will “generally be males of a Muslim persuasion” – and that families with young children should be waved through airport security as there was “virtually” no chance of them being terrorists.

First, Islam is not a race. Second, this is absolutely true.

“in a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

And yes, airport security should focus on “where the threat is coming from”.

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary accused of racism for saying terrorists are ‘generally Muslim men’

Michael O’Leary in an interview also appeared to mock obese passengers, and hit out at the need to accommodate disabled people.

By: Sky News, February 22, 2020

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has sparked outrage for suggesting would-be plane bombers are more likely to be Muslim men – and airport security should focus on “where the threat is coming from”.

He told The Times that potential terrorists will “generally be males of a Muslim persuasion” – and that families with young children should be waved through airport security as there was “virtually” no chance of them being terrorists.

Ryanair has disputed the paper’s coverage and said its chief executive “apologises sincerely for any offence caused”, having been accused of sharing “racist and discriminatory” views.
Ryanair adverts have been banned after they were judged to be misleading
Image: Ryanair is one of the biggest airlines in Europe

The 58-year-old told the newspaper: “Who are the bombers? They are going to be single males travelling on their own.

“If you are travelling with a family of kids, on you go; the chances you are going to blow them all up is zero.”

He added: “You can’t say stuff, because it’s racism, but it will generally be males of a Muslim persuasion. Thirty years ago it was the Irish.

“If that is where the threat is coming from, deal with the threat.”

Ryanair told Sky News that any suggestion that Mr O’Leary thought Muslim men should face extra airport security checks were “simply inaccurate”.

“Michael was only calling for more effective airport security checks which would do away with much of the unnecessary queues at airport security today for all passengers,” a spokesman said.

The controversial comments came during an interview in which he also appeared to mock obese passengers – and hit out at the need to accommodate disabled people.

Hate crime monitoring group Tell Mama said his “flippant” comments could have serious consequences for the business where he was worked for more than 30 years.

“Besides being discriminatory and basing judgements on the ‘looks’ of people, which is abhorrent, O’Leary clearly does not know about the history of terrorism, where people have used others to bypass this blunt and divisive technique,” it said.

The Muslim Council of Britain also criticised Mr O’Leary, describing his views as “the very definition of Islamophobia”.

“He openly advocates discrimination against ‘males of a Muslim persuasion’, which presumably is not based on specific intelligence but solely whether someone ‘looks or acts like a Muslim’,” a spokeswoman said.

“It is a shame that such racism is being expressed so openly, and that the CEO of a large airline would so want to discriminate against his customers so brazenly.”

Mr O’Leary is no stranger to courting controversy, having famously proposed that passengers should pay to use the toilet, and he dressed up as a pope to launch Ryanair’s new route from Dublin to Rome.

He has also been at loggerheads with the UK government in recent times – threatening legal action over its bailout of regional carrier Flybe, and criticising former transport secretary Chris Grayling over no-deal Brexit planning.

Last year he also waded into the row over a McDonald’s executive who was sacked for having a consensual relationship with an employee.

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