Nationalist MP Kevin Cutajar says he was “misinterpreted” after uploading a social media comment that ostensibly blamed the “hasty mixing of cultures” for a violent attack on a Somalian man over the weekend.
In a Facebook post that has since been deleted, Cutajar wrote that while he condemned violence, it was clear that Gozo was not prepared for the mixing of cultures.
“It is becoming clear that Gozo was not prepared for the mixing of cultures and that the hasty mixing of cultures does not help,” he wrote in the since-deleted comment.
He was reacting to news that police are investigating an incident in which an African man was allegedly attacked by a gang of 15 men, beaten, punched and thrown into the sea in Gozo’s Mgarr.
The altercation allegedly occurred in the early hours of Sunday morning and, according to an eye witness, onlookers cheered as the man was attacked.
Among those to react to Cutajar’s comment was Andrew Azzopardi the dean of the Faculty for Social Wellbeing, at the University of Malta.
He asked what possible correlation there could be between a policy of promoting cultural diversity, and the violent attack on a migrant.
“Kevin Cutajar is practically blaming the alleged victim of the attack. An argument which in tone and its innuendos are almost racist,” Azzopardi wrote.
Cutajar then uploaded a clarification to his Facebook, saying that he was being misinterpreted and he was issuing a fresh comment to clarrify his position.
“What I tried to say, and which was unfortunately misinterpreted, is that what occurred yesterday has shown the ugly reality of a lack of social inclusion,” he wrote.
He added that “while I believe that inclusion should have been planned for and implemented better, we ought not to consider this a lost cause. We must continue working to overcome this challenge.”
Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.