Ryanair CEO Micheal O’Leary has found himself in the middle of a controversy for speaking his mind while conversing with a media network called Times. He is now being called a racist, not to mention an ‘Islamophobe’ as well.
The newspaper quoted the CEO of the Irish airliner as saying, “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 also indicated that due to threats of being perceived as politically incorrect and ‘Islamophobic”, many people were not facing the truth as it should be. “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.”
All through the 1970s till the late 1990s, a terrorist organisation called the Irish Republican Army had become infamous for its terror plots in the name of ending British rule in northern Ireland. O’Leary’s statement may seem politically incorrect, however, for an airline, security is utmost and the Ryanair CEO has only owned up to what is already a hush-hush consideration in airline security especially in Western countries post the 9/11 attacks in the USA.
But the comments of O’Leary have, on expected lines, infuriated liberals and extremist-sympathizers. The Muslim Council of Britain described O’Leary’s comments as the “definition of Islamophobia” and flamboyantly remarked that Muslims face institutional discrimination in many aspects of life. “Institutional discrimination against Muslims is well established: whether it is the ability to get a job, buy a flat or even getting car insurance. The challenges of #flyingwhilstMuslim are well documented across the globe,” a spokesperson 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.”, they further added.
Labour Party MP Khalid Mahmood meanwhile said that O’Leary was “encouraging racism”. He added, “In Germany this week a white person killed eight people. Should we profile white people to see if they’re being fascists?”
Many are not as upfront and honest about their opinions as O’Leary has shown himself to be. What he said was crass and perhaps even poorly calculated and British liberals and worldwide media outrage has successfully sent the man on a guilt trip, to the extent that Ryanair has now put out an official statement saying that the headline of the Times article is not what was actually said by their CEO. Despite this, the statement reads, that O’Leary apologizes for hurting any sentiments.