[WATCH] ‘To those who swallow the Eucharist every Sunday, it’s time to stand up and say never again’

Angry Prime Minister ditches campaign speech and calls on people to embrace a multicultural Malta • Addresses Africans in English, expresses nation's regret and sorrow

Joseph Muscat angered by racial murder asks country to embrace multiculturalism
Joseph Muscat angered by racial murder asks country to embrace multiculturalism
Joseph Muscat ditched the campaign spiel to address the nation
Joseph Muscat ditched the campaign spiel to address the nation

Visibly angered by the racially-motivated murder of an Ivorian man, Joseph Muscat went off-script this evening, insisting it was time for all Maltese to stand up and say ‘never again’.

Ditching political correctness, the Prime Minister said it was unacceptable that a man could be killed “for kicks (għall-qżiż)”.

“We can never accept a situation like this. We have to be angry that we allowed this environment of hatred to fester amongst us. I am angry at myself. A man was killed for kicks. He did nothing to them. We are not that type of people,” Muscat said.

In an indirect reference to Norman Lowell and those who support him, the Prime Minister said everyone was to blame, including those who “changed the TV channel to watch him for fun” and those who continue to fan the fire by speaking against foreigners.

“There were those who sowed hatred and led to a situation where two people think it is normal to go out and shoot someone because he is black… we are not like this,” Muscat said.

“If the majority of us who swallow the Eucharist every Sunday allow this to go on without showing that we are going to turn the page… in our homes, at our workplaces, we would be denying our own nature as a caring people,” Muscat said.

He insisted this was the time when everyone had to stand up and be counted.

Muscat said the actions of the two men arrested in connection with the murder did not represent the values of the army.

Shifting to English, Muscat addressed foreigner, especially those from the African continent: 

“There are no words to express the deep regret and sorrow that not only myself but all the Maltese people feel for what has happened. This does not represent us. There may be differences and people who may not like you but the true spirit of Malta is one that is welcoming, one that is all embracing and one that wants you to feel at home. There are rules that need to be respected, and everyone has to respect them, Maltese and foreigners but at the end of the day we do not stand for what has happened.”

The Prime Minister then urged every Maltese to invite their foreign friends for dinner tomorrow, embrace them and show them who the true Maltese are.

“Malta in our heart is a Malta that loves and not one that hates,” Muscat insisted, adding it was time to embrace and not simply tolerate diversity.

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