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Ryanair CEO Calls Terrorists “Generally, Males of Muslim Persuasion,” Takes Heat

Ryanair CEO Calls Terrorists “Generally, Males of Muslim Persuasion,” Takes Heat
Jennifer Billock

Ryanair’s CEO, Michael O’Leary, is at it again. The controversial executive has been known to make disparaging remarks about certain segments of the population, and this time is no different. Now, he’s targeted Muslim men traveling alone with his comments.

What Happened?

In a recent interview with The Times, reported by Sputnik News, O’Leary explained who exactly he thought terrorists were:

“Who are the bombers? They are going to be single males traveling on their own. You can’t say stuff, because it’s 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.”

It’s not the first time he’s made controversial remarks. Others include suggesting a “fat tax” for overweight passengers, shooting travel agents and environmentalists, and making the toilets in plane lavatories coin-operated.

How Have People Reacted?

Predictably, people aren’t pleased with O’Leary and the latest in his string of discriminatory comments. The Muslim Council of Britain released an entire statement about it, condemning the racism in his comments:

“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. 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.”

Labour MP Khalid Mahmood—who also happens to be Muslim—is equally displeased.

“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. In Germany this week a white person killed eight people,” he told the Times, reported by Sputnik News. “Should we profile white people to see if they’re being fascists? He’s being very blinkered and is actually encouraging racism.”

O’Leary’s comments also came at a time when an incident proved his own words wrong. The day before his interview, a woman born to a non-Muslim family, but who is now a jihadi supporter, admitted that she planned to carry out a terrorist attack at St. Paul’s Cathedral.


[Image Source: Wikimedia Commons]

View Comments (9)


  1. Gynob001

    February 27, 2020 at 1:11 pm

    Well, I felt for a long time single male travelers, particularly from Asia, who were not in suit and tie, were discriminated by businesses. If you are wearing a leather jacket, worse. If you are unshaved, you may as well forget the travel. But, this guy also tags me with terrorists. It is similar to Trump calling all Mexicans criminals. This guy needs to apologize to all single males!

  2. Sydneyberlin

    February 27, 2020 at 4:51 pm

    Pretty awful. Just like his airline ;-)

  3. bigbuy

    February 28, 2020 at 3:57 am

    Gnyob…. Trump never called All Mexicans criminals.

  4. JackE

    February 28, 2020 at 1:32 pm

    @Sydneyberlin Is he incorrect?

  5. cairns

    March 2, 2020 at 7:40 am

    So the folks who crash planes into buildings are Amish females? He’s only stating the obvious. And the PC crowd can’t handle it.

  6. strickerj

    March 2, 2020 at 9:16 am

    I’m generally not a fan of O’Leary, but this doesn’t seem like that big a deal. Saying most (not all, but most) terrorists of late have been single male Muslims isn’t the same as saying all single male Muslims are terrorists, but the latter seems to be what everyone heard.

    And regarding the last paragraph… one incident doesn’t prove him wrong, because he did say “generally”, not “all”.

  7. jjmoore

    March 2, 2020 at 10:16 am

    Michael is right. Prove him wrong. Sometimes the truth isn’t meant to please others. It just slaps you in the face and you have to accept it for what it is. Facts don’t care about anyone’s feelings.

  8. KRSW

    March 2, 2020 at 3:21 pm

    As for the past 30 or so years, he’s absolutely correct. It may not be politically correct, but it’s been very accurate.

    Although in recent years, the terrorists seem to be dressed in blue Smurf shirts wearing tin stars, yelling at passengers, intimidating passengers, and occasionally stealing things from passengers.

  9. weero


    March 4, 2020 at 6:07 am

    “It’s not the first time he’s made controversial remarks.”
    It may be irrelevant, petty, and inappropriate but facts cannot and more importantly, should not be controversial.

    I don’t like that most criminals and terrorists populate my gender and perhaps age group but I can’t outrage that fact away.

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