Nick Ferrari rows with guest who labelled Michael O'Leary's comments racist

24 February 2020, 08:19

Nick Ferrari told this guest that he needs to recognise the problem of Islamist terrorism after he labelled Michael O'Leary's comments racist.

The RyanAir boss has been criticised for urging greater scrutiny of single Muslim males travelling on aeroplanes.

Speaking to The Times, Mr O'Leary said: "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.

"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."

Miqdaad Versi, a spokesperson for the Muslim Council Of Britain, labelled those comments racist, but Nick told him he needed to face up to the problem.

He said: "I think it's deeply worrying that someone of O'Leary's status says something like this clearly racist statement."

Nick told him the statement was undoubtedly discriminatory, but not racist because it's based upon factual evidence. He then asked the guest if he agreed with the statement that single male travellers who subvert the Muslim faith are the most likely to commit terrorist acts.

Mr Versi insisted: "When it comes to hijacking, we don't really have wealth of evidence. We're not really sure. If we're talking about terror attacks more generally, it depends on what type of terror attacks.

"When it comes to the number of terror attacks in Europe and America, there's obviously a significantly greater number of mass shootings."

Nick Ferrari insisted Michael O'Leary's comments were not racist
Nick Ferrari insisted Michael O'Leary's comments were not racist. Picture: LBC / PA

But Nick told him he's not talking about mass shootings - he's talking about terror attacks such as the London bombings or the attack in Nice.

Again Mr Versi refused to accept the point, so Nick said: "OK, they're not. You're right and the weight of evidence is clearly wrong.

"You stick to your views and the rest of the people will think it's very discriminatory and it's inflammatory, but it's not racist because it's a depiction of what people have done to pervert the faith.

"But you keep on talking about shootings in America and don't address the problem.

"You're not prepared to accept it. I've tried three times to get you to agree. You don't see it. All the time you keep likening it to US shootings, we'll never get anywhere."

Watch the full row at the top of the page.