LONDON: Muslim men should be profiled at airports as terrorists will “generally be of a Muslim persuasion,” Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said in an interview published Saturday, sparking accusations of racism.
“Who are the bombers?” the budget airline’s controversial chief executive said while discussing airport security in the interview with the Times newspaper.
“They are going to be single males traveling on their own… If you are traveling with a family of kids, on you go; the chances you are going to blow them all up is zero.”
The 58-year-old 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.”
A spokesman from the Muslim council of Britain accused O’Leary of “Islamophobia.”
O’Leary was “encouraging racism,” Labour MP Khalid Mahmood told the newspaper.
“If he can tell me what colour Muslims are, then I’d be very happy to learn from him – you can’t judge a book by its cover,” he told the Times.
“In Germany this week a white person killed eight people. Should we profile white people to see if they’re being fascists? He’s being very blinkered and is actually encouraging racism.”
O’Leary is known for his controversial views and has floated proposals to charge fliers to use the toilet during Ryanair flights and a “fat tax” on obese passengers.
The Ryanair CEO’s comments sparked outrage on social media, with people calling for a boycott of the airline.