Sir Richard Branson has urged people not to blame the Muslim community for the Paris attacks.
Writing in a blog on Virgin’s website, the entrepreneur said he was “frustrated” by the way some have passed judgement “on entire populations, based on the actions of a radical few.”
He compared those blaming Muslims for the Paris attacks to blaming “all Americans for the past actions of the Ku Klux Klan”.
The 65-year-old also criticised Republican governors who sought to block Syrian refugees entering the country in the wake of last week’s massacre.
“These positions fuel a collective paranoia that tends to be more interested in confirming existing biases rather than the truth.”
Calling Isis a “gang of murderous thugs pretending to act in the name of faith”, Sir Richard advocated looking at the causes of extremist violent movements.
“More often than not, weak governance, corruption, poor economic conditions came long before things turned bad. Extremism became an outlet, not a source.”
However, the Virgin founder praised the “sensible humanity” offered by 18 mayors who pledged to allow refugees settlement.
Sir Richard previously expressed sadness at the “anti-refugee and anti-immigrant rhetoric” which was taking place during the refugee crisis – which he called a “moral crisis”.