Sunday, July 14, 2013

Mons. Charles Scicluna dwar l-Immigrazzjoni


Imigrazzjoni: Għaliex ħutna ż-żgħar ibeżżgħuna?



L-Isqof Charles J.  Scicluna   |   15/07/2013

Dan l-aħħar qamet diskussjoni kbira dwar il-limiti għall-ospitalità li nistgħu noffru aħna l-Maltin għall-vittmi tal-immigrazzjoni forzata. Hemm limiti ovvji - il-fatt li aħna gżira, popolazzjoni żgħira, u fl-istess ħin fuq art żgħira. Malta għandha l-iżjed densità qawwija ta’ popolazzjoni fl-Ewropa. L-impatt ta’ mijiet ta’ immigranti forzati fuq is-socjetà tagħna jqanqal ħafna apprensjoni, jekk mhux ukoll biżà u preokkupazzjoni. Huma mumenti ta’ sfida partikolari għall-prinċipju ta’ ospitalità li aħna l-Maltin dejjem ħaddanna, u li jifforma parti mill-qalb u r-ruħ tal-identità tagħna bħala Poplu, bħala Pajjiż, bħala Nazzjon.
Weġġajt qalbi għal diversi kummenti xenofobi li smajt u qrajt fuq is-social media. Ix-xenofobija, hija fobija, hija biżà minn dak li hu barrani. Meta wieħed ikun vittma tal-biżà, diffiċli ħafna jirraġuna. Fil-biżà, l-ewwel istint huwa l-paniku u li taħseb għal rasek. L-isfida kbira li aħna bħala poplu rridu naffaċċjaw huwa li nirbħu il-biżà li qiegħed jaħkimna -  il-biżà tal-barrani -  il-biżà ta’ min flok jiġi fuq il-cruisers u għandu l-ġilda bajda u l-bwiet mimlija flus, qiegħed jiġi mingħajr stedina fuq id-dinghies, b’ilbies totalment differenti minn dak li aħna mdorrijin għalih, u bil-kulur tal-ġilda tiegħu skur ħafna.
Il-biża għandu bżonn injezzjoni ta’ raġuni, ta’ kalma, ta’ serenità u ta’ qalb kbira biex jintrebaħ. Jiena nafda ħafna f’din il-kapaċità tal-poplu Malti li jirbaħ il-biżà. Aħna poplu li drajna naffaċċjaw diversi nvażjonijiet, u ħafna drabi ngħaqadna għaliex fl-invażur rajna agressur.
Elementi mill-kummenti li smajt u qrajt fis-social media, donnhom ipinġu lil dawn ħutna ta’ ġilda skura bħala invażuri u aggressuri. Hawnhekk ta’ min nifhmu il-qagħda tagħhom, waqt li niftakru kemm familji Maltin, fil-passat, kellhom jitilqu lil pajjiżna għal motivi ekonomiċi.
Dawn in-nies m’għandhom l-ebda opportunità joħorġu minn pajjiżjhom jekk mhux wara mixja ta’ eluf u eluf ta’ kilometri, jdumu xhur sħaħ sakemm jaslu fuq ix-xtut tal-Mediterran l-isfel minn gżiritna, imbgħad iħallsu ġidhom kollu biex jaqsmu il-Baħar Mediterran fuq xi laqxa, fuq xi dinghy, fuq xi dgħajsa żdingata, meta s-sitwazzjoni klimatika tippermetti.
Tajjeb nifhmu li dawn huma bnedmin bħalna, li għandhom id-dinjità tagħhom, u li qabel ninħakmu mill-biżà u nsiru skjavi tal-biża li ħakimna, inħarsu lejn dawn il-persuni bħala ħutna. Il-Mulej mhux ser jistaqsina affarijiet ikkumplikati meta nidhru quddiemu. Ser jgħidilna “kulma għamiltu mal-iżgħar fost ħuti għamiltuh miegħi” (Mt 25, 40) u dawn huma fost iż-żgħar tal-aħwa tal-Mulej. Ser jistaqsina kif ħabbejniehom, kif ittratajniehom, kif ġibna ruħna magħhom?

 Charles J. Scicluna
Isqof Awżiljarju u Vigarju Ġenerali ta’ Malta

English Translation: 
Imigration: why do our weaker brethren frighten us?

There arose recently a discussion regarding the limits to the hospitality of the Maltese people towards the victims of forced immigration.  Obviously there are limits – it is a fact that we live on an tiny island which has a small population. Malta is the most densely populated country in Europe.  The impact which forced immigration has on our society has given rise to much apprehension, as well fear and preoccupation. It poses several challenges to the principle of hospitality which as Maltese, we have always upheld, and which is at the heart and soul of our identity as a people, as a country, as a nation.
My heart bled when I heard and read so many xenophobic comments on the social media.  Xenophobia is a phobia, a fear of all that is foreign.  When a person is a victim of fear, it is difficult for him to see the light of reason.  When faced with fear, a person’s first instinct is to panic which leads him to protect himself.  The greatest challenge that as a nation we are faced with is to overcome our fear – this fear of the foreigner – fear of those dark-skinned people who, unlike the fair-skinned visitors who arrive on cruise liners, their pockets lined with money, reach our shores uninvited, on dinghies, kitted out in apparel which is alien to our culture.
Fear can only be overcome by a dose of reason, by an attitude of calm and serenity, and with an open-heart  I rest assured that the Maltese people are capable of overcoming this fear.  We are a nation who have been accustomed to several invasions.  Many times we became united because we considered our invaders to be aggressors.
From the comments I heard and read in the social media, it appears that our dark-skinned brethren are being depicted as invaders and aggressors.  We should appreciate the situation they are in, as we recall just how many Maltese families in the past were forced to leave our country for economic reasons.
The only way these people are able to leave their country is by traversing thousands of kilometres. It takes them months to reach the southern Mediterranenan shores, often spending their life savings to cross the Mediterranean Sea on a tiny boat, or a rickety dinghy, when weather conditions are favourable.
It is good to bear in mind that these people are human beings like us.  Like us they have an inherent dignity.  Before being overcome by fear and hence become enslaved by that same fear, we should look upon these people as our brethren.  God will not ask much of us when we come before Him.  He will say to us “in so far as you did to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me” (Mt 25, 40) and these people are in fact the Lord’s weaker brethren.  He will ask: how have we loved them, how have we treated them, how have we behaved towards them?

 Charles J. Scicluna
Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar General of Malta