After a series of anti-Muslim comments by Maurice Mizzi, Environment minister José Herrera is still considering whether to dismiss him as Guardian of Future Generations.
Many NGOs have condemned the comment as racist and demanded the resignation of Mizzi’s resignation, who drew an angry reaction after he hit out at irregular immigration in Malta and how Muslims are “taking over” the country and having nine babies in an interview with the Sunday Times of Malta.
“We should stop these people coming from abroad without a passport, with their children and with a different religion,” Mizzi said.
“We are living in a Catholic country, and when I die, I want to die in a Catholic country. At the moment, there are so many Muslims coming – they’re all having nine babies, next to our two – and they will take over eventually.”
“Chev. Maurice Mizzi regrets the fact that his personal statements may have been perceived or interpreted as potentially insensitive directly or indirectly to certain individuals of the community, his true arguments and views were made in the broader context of the right for every person to have a high degree of well-being,” a spokeswoman for Mizzi said in a statement on Tuesday.
The comments, the spokeswoman said, were made in Mizzi’s personal capacity, and did not reflect the position of the Guardian for Future Generations commission (which he heads). Moreover, the comments were only a small part of a wide-ranging interview which also delved into other issues, such as infrastructure and social housing.
Mizzi added that he has never discriminated people according to race or religion and has always supported NGO Spiru Mizzi Foundation. Notwithstanding, the Guardian of Future Generations was summoned by Dr. José Herrera on Monday to clarify his racist comment.
Dr. Herrera referred to Mizzi as a ‘good man’ and has postponed a decision about his position until next week
Meanwhile, speaking to Times of Malta, the Environment Minister has kept his distance from Mizzi’s comments and insisted that he was “not a racial person”.
“Everyone who knows me knows I am the opposite of a racist,” Dr Herrera said, while at the same time not committing to whether he would actually let Mizzi keep his role as Guardian.
“Those who express themselves then have to pay the price,” Dr Herrera continued. “I am considering what he said, I am monitoring the situation and will give my decision in due course.”
Maurice Mizzi’s comments came in the midst of a controversial ongoing case where two Maltese soldiers are being charged with the murder of Ivorian migrant Lassana Cisse in what seems to have been a racially-motivated attack.