Ryanair chief executive denies calling for Muslim men to face extra security checks at airports
Ryanair has denied recently that airline Chief Executive Michael O’Leary called for Muslim men to face extra security checks at airports after he sparked outrage for suggesting male Muslim men traveling alone are more likely to carry out acts of terror, Mail Online News reported.
Ryanair DAC is an Irish budget airline founded in 1984, headquartered in Swords, Dublin, with its primary operational bases at Dublin and London Stansted airports.
It comes amid calls to boycott the budget airline after comments made by O’Leary in The Times newspaper stating terrorists ‘will generally be males of a Muslim persuasion’ sparked a race row.
O’Leary said that families with young children should be let through security as they are less likely to ‘blow’ people up.
The 58-year-old added that the only way to ‘deal with the threat’ was to vet ‘single male’ Muslims traveling on their own.
Besides, Ryanair denied that O’Leary had called for Muslim men to face extra security checks before boarding a plane.
‘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 in a statement.
From its side, The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said his comments amounted to discrimination against Muslim passengers as they branded it ‘racist’.
And hate-crime monitoring group Tell Mama suggested his ‘flippant’ words could end up having serious consequences for the budget airline.
O’Leary had told The Times: ‘Who are the bombers? 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.’
He added: ‘You can’t say stuff, because of its racism, but it will generally be males of 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 MCB said: ‘Michael O’Leary should be under no illusion: his comments are racist and 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’.
‘This is the very definition of Islamophobia.’
The spokeswoman said Muslims already face challenges in airline travel and added: ‘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.’
And Tell Mama (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks) which based in the UK said the comments could come back to bite O’Leary’s business, likening them to jewelry 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 judgments 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.’
His comments have also been slammed by a Labour MP for ‘encouraging racism’.
Labour MP Khalid Mahmoud said O’Leary was ‘encouraging racism’ and asked why he wouldn’t suggest white people be given the same treatment ‘to see if they’re being fascists’.
‘If he can tell me what color 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.
He added: ‘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.’
The airline chief is no stranger to controversial remarks – particularly his criticisms of environmentalists and travel agents.
He once said: ‘The best thing you can do with environmentalists is shoot them.’
O’Leary also believes travel agents deserve the same treatment, saying once: ‘Screw the travel agents.
‘Take them out and shoot them. What have they done for passengers over the years?’
He famously proposed coin-operated toilets on flights and dressed up as the pope to launch Ryan air’s new route from Dublin to Rome.
He once addressed Ryanair customers asking for their money back with: ‘you’re not getting a refund so ….. We don’t want to hear your sob stories. What part of ‘no refund’ don’t you understand?’
2020-04-02 | News | English | AbrarOnline