Minister calls urgent meeting with Mizzi over ‘Muslim invasion’ interview

No resignation yet from Guardian of the Future Generations Maurice Mizzi over racist comments in newspaper interview

Maurice Mizzi: “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.”
Maurice Mizzi: “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.”

The businessman Maurice Mizzi was called in for an urgent meeting with environment minister José Herrera, over an anti-Muslim tirade during an interview with The Times.

Mizzi, appointed ‘Guardian of the Future Generations’ after the resignation departure of climate change expert Michael Zammit Cutajar, hit out at irregular immigration into Malta, arguing that Muslims are “taking over” and insisting the country should stop migrants from entering.

His comments drew an angry reaction from NGOs, who said he should be dismissed.

But the ministry has not yet decided to demand his resignation.

“With reference to the declarations made by Chev. Maurice Mizzi on Sunday’s newspaper, the the Ministry for Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change is disassociating itself with such reported statements, as it is not reflective to the government’s vision including that of the Guardian of the Future Generations. Minister José Herrera has requested an urgent meeting to clarify the situation.”

Mizzi stunned the public by claiming that wages remained low because migrants were happy to work for the minimum wage.

“We should stop these people coming from abroad without a passport, with their children and with a different religion… 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.”

“I want to have Malta for the Maltese,” he said. “Maybe that’s an antiquated view, but I want to see it Catholic and for the Maltese. I don’t mind having others, as long as they don’t take over. And the problem is they have so many children.”

A group of NGOs and activists said the comments were racist and Mr Mizzi should be dismissed.

They pointed out that Mizzi’s role is to “endeavour to facilitate closer collaboration between all stakeholders in the pursuit of the right balance between socio-economic development and environmental stewardship in the Maltese Islands”.

“Finding a balance between socio-economic development and environmental
stewardship is achievable by fostering inclusion, and certainly not by condemning difference, or singling out any particular religious belief. Mr Mizzi seems to forget the responsibility that comes with his role and the essential point that the most important factor to achieve development and guarantee future generations is peace,” the NGOs said. 

“Peace relies wholly on acceptance and inclusion; this means that people are entitled to have their own religious beliefs, or no religious beliefs at all. Singling out one religious belief as impeding development is untrue. It foments hate, something we can ill afford to increase in our small country because it only leads to violence, death and destruction, as very recent incidents in Malta have shown.”

The NGOs pointed out that migrants are generally fleeing from war, socio-political persecution and economic hardship, often induced by interests beyond their countries’ borders.

“Mizzi’s declaration contradicts the Prime Minister’s statement about the need for more workers, irrespective of religion, origin or colour…

“In the light of such racist declarations, we demand his immediate resignation or removal by the Prime Minister as his position is no longer tenable,” the NGOs said.

The statement was signed by aditus foundation, African Media Association, Allied Rainbow Communities, Cross Culture International Foundation, Department of Gender Studies (University of Malta), Eritrean Refugees community Association in Malta, Fondazzjoni Sebħ, Foundation for Shelter and Support to Migrants, Integra Foundation, International Association for Refugees, JRS Malta, KOPIN, Malta Emigrants Commission, Moviment Graffitti, People for Change Foundation, Platform of Human Rights Organisations in Malta, Repubblika, Richmond Foundation, Solidarity with Migrants Group, SOS Malta, Spark 15, Sudanese Migrants Association, The Critical Institute, Troupe, Dr Elena Tanti Burlo, Dr. Colin Calleja, Louise Chircop, Professor Peter Mayo, Professor Duncan Paul Mercieca, Dr. Josephine Milton and  Jacqueline Zammit.

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