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Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary slammed for ‘abhorrent’ remarks on Muslims

The businessman said bombers ‘will generally be males of a Muslim persuasion’.

MIchael O'Leary
MIchael O'Leary
Image: PA

RYANAIR CHIEF EXECUTIVE Michael O’Leary is facing criticism for claiming terrorists “will generally be males of a Muslim persuasion”.

The Muslim Council of Britain said the comments amounted to discrimination against Muslim passengers, while hate-crime monitoring group, Tell Mama suggested his “flippant” words could end up having serious consequences for the business.

The 58-year-old told the Times newspaper in the UK that families with young children should be waved through airport security because there was “virtually” zero chance of them being bombers.

”Who are the bombers? They are going to be single males travelling on their own,” he said.

“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.”

A spokeswoman for the Muslim Council of Britain said: “Michael O’Leary should be under no illusion: his comments are discriminatory.

“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’.

Hate-crime monitoring group Tell Mama said the comments could come back to bite Mr O’Leary’s business, likening them to jewellery firm boss Gerald Ratner’s disastrous remark in 1991 when he called one of his own products “total crap” and was later axed after profits tumbled.

In a statement posted on Twitter the group said: “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.

“This could be a Gerald Ratner moment for O’Leary, where his flippant statements come back to seriously affect his business.”

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