08/11/2013 06:23 GMT | Updated 08/11/2013 09:26 GMT

Ryanair Boss Michael O'Leary Says Ban The Burka, Brits 'Leaning Over Too Much' For Muslims

Low Cost airline Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary reacts during a media conference outlining EU rules preventing EU staff from using budget airlines, in Brussels, Thursday, March 29, 2012. Ryanair is criticizing the European Union for allegedly discriminating against low-fare airlines and favoring national flag carriers. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)

Michael O'Leary has called for the burka to be banned in Britain, warning that the country is "leaning over far too much" for minority religions like Islam.

The controversial Ryanair boss's remarks came it emerged that police had lost track of terror suspect Mohammed Ahemd Mohamed after he left a mosque wearing a burka, a garment worn by some Muslim women that covers the entire body, face and eyes.

Speaking to the Times, he said: "I think we should ban burkas here in the UK. If you go to Saudi Arabia and they say the ladies have to veil up, you respect the local culture. Over here we are leaning over far too much for some of these minority religions.

"If you want to come and live in Western society, I don’t think you should be allowed to walk around with some inalienable right to cover yourself up with only your eyes looking out.”

O'Leary's comments come as Ryanair has sought to open itself up in a media "charm offensive', which has seen the airline chief take to Twitter for question and answer sessions and ask passengers for suggestions on how to improve customer service.

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Former justice secretary Ken Clarke recently suggested that Muslim women should not be able to give evidence in court wearing the veil because it made it impossible to have a proper trial while wearing "a kind of bag".

The minister said that body language was necessary to allow jurors to assess if a witness is telling the truth and insisted he could not see how that was possible "when they are facing somebody who is veiled".

In September, a young Muslim woman in a burka was told by the judge to take off her face veil, as she took to the dock to enter her plea, because someone could impersonate her.

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