Malta’s Equality Minister has warned off the perils of religious fundamentalism as the country reels from outrageous comments made in the wake of the brutal murder of Polish national Paulina Dembska.
“It’s easy to say anything you want, but the consequences are there,” Owen Bonnici said on yesterday’s programme of Pjazza on ONE.
“And the consequences of fundamentalism are the seeds of hatred, and what this priest said, is serious. There’s a line that cannot be crossed, a line of hate speech, that is unacceptable – and that line was crossed.”
“I urge the authorities to take action on this and take the decision they need to take.”
Since Bonnici’s public call, a number of other politicians including Inclusion Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli, urged Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa to investigate the public statements by conservative priest Father David Muscat.
Since yesterday, Muscat has been called into the police depot as the police investigate him, and he has been issued a formal warning by the Archbishop of Malta that could lead to him being prohibited from celebrating his ministry in public in the future.
“The goal of his words was to incite some type of negative sentiment on a minority in this country,” Bonnici pointed out. “It’s unacceptable. There’s no place for this in our society. Those words crossed the line.
Pjazza host Karl Stagna Navarra went on to say that the comment was one of the biggest atrocities he’d heard of in this country.
You can watch the full interview on Pjazza below:
What do you make of the blowback to Muscat’s fundamentalist rhetoric?