SCOTLAND'S Justice Secretary has criticised budget airline Ryanair's chief executive after he called for profiling of Muslim men at airports.

Speaking to The Times Michael O'Leary justified the claim, saying "that is where the threat is coming from".

Suggesting that families with young children should be waved through airport security, O'Leary told the newspaper: "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."

The National:

However, in a tweet, Humza Yousaf took the opportunity to inform O'Leary on where he'd gone wrong. The Cabinet member pointed out that the "vast majority of those in Scotland's prisons on terror-related offences are white non-Muslim males".

He added that Muslim men are already checked enough in airports as things stand. 

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has also condemned O'Leary's comments, saying: "This is the very definition of Islamophobia."

An MCB spokesperson went on: "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."

In the wide-ranging interview O'Leary also took aim at overweight passengers, calling them "monsters" who "may need to buy two seats".