A Nationalist MP who called out what he described as“rushed multiculturalism’ following an attack on a Somali man in Mġarr has insisted he was actually misinterpreted.
In his original post, Kevin Cutajar said that while he disagrees with the attack, the incant showed that “Gozo wasn’t ready for the rushed process of multiculturalism it witnessed in recent years” and that “rapid multiculturalism doesn’t help”.
He deleted his post a few minutes after uploading it, but it was too late not to generate political controversy.
Labour MEP Cyrus Engerer led the charge, accusing Cutajar of trying to stir up xenophobic sentiment among his constituents.
“It is worrying to see a politician start calling for segregation because he believes that xenophobia isa a vote-winner,” Engerer said. “Human rights are universal, indivisible and inter-dependent, and they don’t belong to a single section of society or to one minority.”
University lecturer and radio host Andrew Azzopardi also called out Cutajar, warning that the MP hinted that the attack was the alleged victim’s own fault because of his skin colour.
“Language that excludes and marginalises people is the biggest enemy of the disability sector, which [Cutajar] wants to be an activist for,” Azzopardi said. “However, Cutajar is practically blaming the alleged victim in an argument with practically racist tones and innuendos.”
Meanwhile, Labour TV host Karl Stagno Navarra straight out said that Cutajar should be ashamed of himself.
Following the backlash, Cutajar issued a public statement to insist his original post was misinterpreted.
“What I tried to say, but unfortunately I was misinterpreted, was that what happened yesterday showed the unpleasant reality of a lack of social inclusion,” Cutajar said.
“Although I believe that inclusion should have taken place with a better plan, it doesn’t mean we should consider it a lost challenge and that we shouldn’t work more to overcome it.”
Earlier today, TVM reported that police will charge a man for allegedly beating a Somali national before throwing him into the sea in Mġarr, Gozo in front of a cheering crowd.
Lovin Malta had reported yesterday how a social media post claimed that the fight broke out near a bar in Mgarr in Gozo, with a group of about 15 people reportedly attacking the individual.
“At one point a ‘hero’ decided to show what a KING he was in front of a crowd of 100 cheering people, moved a dust bin, moved a table and to the disgusting roar of the horde he punched the guy from Somalia and threw him in the sea. At this point in time he hit his face with a boat,” the person claimed.
“Not knowing if he could swim (could have drowned), he pulled himself out embarrassed and humiliated and yet again tried to ask why they treated him like a dog.”
Police were called to the scene and have confirmed with Lovin Malta that they received the report at around 1am and broke up an argument. However, their report focused on a fight between two individuals, a Maltese man and a foreign national, and did not feature any references to a group attack.
Do you think Kevin Cutajar’s U-turn is enough?