The Malta Independent 5 August 2021, Thursday

Eggshells in a stampede

Marlene Farrugia Monday, 21 September 2015, 10:30 Last update: about 7 years ago

Following the anti -immigrant  manifestation that took place yesterday in Valletta was a harrowing experience. 

I try very hard to understand what motivates people to protest against helping people in dire need of assistance, whether they are migrants, immigrants, refugees , black or white. It’s even harder to understand the attitude when one considers what the majority of our immigrant / refugee arrivals have fled from.

It is common knowledge that our own nation like larger maybe more modern nations including US, Australia and Canada is a nation begotten from immigrant ancestors. It is also a nation which enjoys communities in many countries of the world established as a result of a myriad of different reasons.

So the question arises.

Are these brothers and sisters  of ours protesting against their own existence? Against their own gene pool? For we are all descendants of immigrants who made the Maltese Islands their home at some point in their genealogy.

People who flee atrocious regimes and dictatorships, people who flee progressive genocides, even people who travel in search of a better life for their families, do not deserve rejection and persecution, but deserve compassion and humanitarian support as well as proper integration so that they can contribute to the European economy and get on with their lives, while we get on with ours.

It is not patriotic to give Malta an inhuman face which it does not deserve.

It is on the other hand patriotic to underline the greatness of this little nation, by raising one united voice in favour of human rights for all.

Does having multiculturalism and diversity threaten our identity or existence as a nation?

A glimpse at our history, not least the hundreds of years under Arab Rule, provides a quick decisive answer. 

We are who we are because of the diverse ethnic  gene pool amassed along the ages, which in turn gave us our culture, our language our religion and our identity. 

Our identity will be under threat if we succumb to attitudes which are not in keeping with our Constitution and cultural intelligence.

As for evil and criminality, it is definitely not the patent of any race or colour, age or gender. It exists everywhere and should be stamped out justly wherever it comes from, and certainly not used to incite more hatred and more evildoing.

So, do I believe we should take on the entire population of Africa, Syria and Libya, to say the least?

Of course I don't. No country can go it alone, not even the European giant Germany which has an aging population , a low birthrate and is in dire need of a young  skilled able bodied population to maintain a sustainable economy.

We know that as a country we can only help a limited number of refugees but we can help our few thousands  to integrate properly , while we also sustain strong insistence for a more focussed global effort.

The  massive surge in migration of people is  obviously a global challenge, requiring a global solution.

What we are facing is not a crisis of migration but a crisis in global political activity,  the results of which is the massive displacement of people who are pushed away by the conflicts, wars, environmental cataclysms and fundamentalist extremist attitudes that are  the result of flawed political thinking, and wicked , unscrupulous material gain orientated political  and corporate manoeuvring at different levels of national , international and transnational corporate  and political governance.

We all know that some methods of governing are incompatible with the sustainability of human life let alone human development. We also know that the military strength of the world's most notorious dictatorships is increasing as we speak.

We should be urging global and national leaders to take bold and decisive action towards addressing the root causes of the surge in migration, while addressing the needs of the fleeing masses in a well organised humanitarian manner.

One would have thought that the world learned a couple of lessons from the 20th century tragedies that beset this continent in particular. But it seems that concrete and collective action to tackle both the cause and effects of the human tragedy unfolding around us, is going to be left until it is too late and much more difficult to face down. 

We should be protesting against the bloody dictators who torment innocent people and have no regard for territorial sovereignty of other countries.

We should be protesting against extremists and terrorists who rape, torture enslave and kill under the guise of religious fervour.

We should be protesting against the laissez-faire attitude of world leaders who embrace the concept of human rights for all but only in words, not timely action, and who are failing to come together at this fragile moment in the history of humanity.

Our basic previously human norms are being allowed to disintegrate, only to be replaced by new subhuman norms.

We have to stand up and be counted in protest, against the murder of innocents and in favour of a new world order that maintains the right priorities topped with the protection of human life and human rights.

It is imperative that we understand that by speaking up for nameless children whose lifeless bodies rest among the seaweeds at the bottom of our sea, we will also be raising a voice towards preventing our own children  from turning into mere eggshells in the middle of  a stampede.






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