L-intolleranza fostna

Matul din il-ġimgħa, għal darba oħra, kellna inċidenti li juru li l-intolleranza fostna, mhux biss għadha ħajja, imma għandha għeruq fondi.

Nhar it-Tnejn Rebecca Buttiġieġ, Segretarju Parlamentari, u Randolph Debattista, Membru Parlamentari, fil-Parlament, tkellmu dwar ittri anonimi li irċevew, u li kienu mimlijin insulti kontra tagħhom. Dan wara li huma esprimew l-opinjonijiet politiċi tagħhom pubblikament fil-kuntest tad-dibattitu pubbliku li għaddej preżentement dwar l-abort.

Din il-ġimgħa ukoll, id-dentista Miriam Sciberras ilmentat li ġie vvandalizzat il-bieb tal-klinika tagħha f’Ħaż-Żabbar. Id-dentista Sciberras hi persuna pubblika u permezz tal-NGO Life Network Foundation tmexxi l-quddiem argumenti kontra l-abort.

Dawn huma l-aħħar eżempji mingħand is-soċjetà intolleranti li qed ngħixu fiha. Bħalhom hemm eżempji oħra, li niffaċċjaw kuljum, u dan fil-konfront ta’ firxa wiesa’ ta’ persuni, kemm persuni pubbliċi kif ukoll persuni privati. Dwar uħud minn dawn il-każijiet smajna u qrajna tul il-ġimgħat u x-xhur li għaddew. Oħrajn isofru fis-skiet. Xhieda dan ta’ soċjetà li hi marida.

Fuq il-media soċjali, sfortunatament, dan qed jiġri l-ħin kollu.

Mhux kulħadd hu responsabbli biżżejjed biex jifhem li l-libertà li tesprimi ruħek fuq il-media soċjali, u band’oħra ukoll, hemm marbuta magħha l-obbligu li tqis dak li tgħid u li tassigura ruħek li ma tkunx insolenti jew offensiv fi kliemek. Mhux kulħadd, sfortunatament, kapaċi jagħmel argument mingħajr ma jkun insolenti jew offensiv.

Għandna l-obbligu li nirrispettaw lil xulxin dejjem. Ma hemm ħtieġa tal-ebda sforz biex nirrispettaw lil min jaqbel magħna! Id-diffikulta, għal uħud, hi meta huma jkunu ffaċċjati minn opinjoni differenti li ma jaqblux magħha u li tikkuntrasta ħafna ma dak li jemmnu jew jafu huma. Uħud għand jeħtieġ jitgħallmu li l-kritika tista’ issir mingħajr ma tinsulta lil ħadd. L-opinjonijiet li jikkuntrastaw, jekk isiru sewwa, jistgħu jagħtu kontribut għat-tisħiħ tad-dibattitu pubbliku u tal-proċess demokatiku fil-pajjiż.

Hu obbligu li nesprimu ruħna u li nipparteċipaw fid-diskussjoni pubblika. Imma huwa daqstant ieħor obbligu li nesprimu ruħna b’mod li nkunu kemm ċari kif ukoll rispettużi ta’ min ikun qed jisma’, jsegwi  jew jaqra dak li nkunu qed ngħidu.

Ir-retorika esaġerata ta’ uħud flimkien ma’ diskorsi li jappellaw għall-emozzjoni u mhux għar-raġuni għandhom dan l-effett li hu wieħed previdibbli. Jirnexxiehom joħorġu fil-beraħ l-intolleranza, xi drabi moħbija, imma li tul is-snin għamlet ħafna ħsara lit-tessut soċjali u demokratiku tal-pajjiż.

Kien hemm mumenti meta anke jiena laqqattha. Ħafna drabi ninjora l-insulti u nħassar il-kummenti dispreġġjattivi fuq il-media soċjali u niġdem ilsieni. Kummenti li xi drabi jkunu miktuba minn persuni li jridu jikkummentaw u m’għandhomx il-ħila li jagħmlu dan mingħajr ma jesprimu mibgħeda u intolleranza grassa. Kien hemm okkazjoni ukoll, din is-sena, fejn irrappurtajna persuna lill-Pulizija u dan ġie immultat u mwissi severament mill-Maġistrat wara li hu ġie mtella’ l-Qorti, ammetta u skuża ruħu. Bħali għamlu diversi oħrajn. Sfortunatament, imma, l-intolleranza għandha għeruq fondi fostna u dawn l-inċidenti jibqgħu jirrepetu ruħhom sakemm jibqgħu jsibu lil min irewwaħ.

L-intolleranza hi dipendenti fuq l-attitudi li inpinġu kollox bħala abjad jew iswed. Min mhux magħna kontra tagħna, jgħidu. Inkella fuq l-attitudni li aħna biss għandna raġun u li l-bqija kulħadd huwa żbaljat u li jeħtieġ li jara d-dawl u li jikkonverti! L-intolleranza individwali sfortunatament hi rifless ta’ soċjetà intolleranti li ntgħaġnet hekk tul is-snin.

Nifhem li mhux dejjem faċli għax kultant hu iktar popolari li tmaqdar u tkasbar lil min ma jaqbilx miegħek. Jeħtieġ sforz biex nimxu kontra dan il-kurrent qalil li jgħix minn fuq il-preġudizzju u l-misinformazzjoni.

Hu sforz li irridu nagħmlu kuljum. B’hekk biss innaqqsu l-impatti tal-intolleranza fostna. Inutli nilmentaw jekk ma nagħmlux il-parti tagħna.

ippubblikat fuq Illum: il-Ħadd 25 ta’ Dicembru 2022

An invitation: keep the doors open

The abortion debate gets nastier by the minute. This was expected. It may even get worse!

The priest who described pro-choice PN candidate Emma Portelli Bonnici as a later day Hitler, kicked off this week’s instalment! The Archbishop’s Curia at Floriana forced the removal of the facebook post where he published these views: yet the damage was done. Will we ever learn to discuss anything respectfully? Is this too difficult to expect?

The Labour Party is being extremely cautious. It is very rare to hear any Labour Party speaker express himself or herself on the subject of abortion. Labour is aware of the different and contrasting views within its ranks when debating abortion. That in itself is healthy and could potentially lead to a mature debate. The current Labour Party leadership, however, as readers are aware, is acutely conservative on the matter even though there is a progressive element among its voters which is of the opposite view. This includes a couple of present and former electoral candidates and MPs/MEPs.

The PN on the other hand, going by Bernard Grech’s declaration earlier this week has not yet learnt its lessons from the divorce referendum campaign, ten years ago. I respect its political position on the matter but I still cannot understand its constant denigration of those within its ranks who have the courage to speak their mind. Stifling political debate is very damaging.  It has long-term effects which go much beyond the current debate!

As pointed out elsewhere, Bernard Grech’s declaration signifies one thing: the abortion debate is closed within the PN ranks, and anybody who dares think otherwise should start packing. From where I stand that is the clear message conveyed by Bernard Grech.

Within ADPD, the Green Party, last May, after a three year long internal debate, we approved a clear political position in favour of decriminalisation of abortion, as a result of which any woman opting for an abortion would not be subject to criminal action. We further emphasise that abortion should not be normalised but that it should be limited to specific, extraordinary and well-defined circumstances.

We have highlighted that Maltese legislation on abortion is not fit for purpose. It needs to be brought up to date after more than 160 years since its enactment. It requires to be brought in line with medical and scientific progress over the years.

We identify three such extraordinary circumstances in which abortion is justified, namely, when the life of the pregnant woman is in danger, when a pregnancy is the result of violence (rape and incest) and when faced with a pregnancy which is not viable.

There is definitely an urgent need for more emphasis on reproductive and sexual health education at all levels of our educational structures. This is a gap which needs plugging at the earliest!

We have been criticised by some as not going far enough. Others have stated that we have gone much too far.

Empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of others, is key in the abortion debate. It is essential that women who undergo abortion are not threatened any more with persecution and prosecution. They need the state’s protection as a result of which more will seek help before taking critical decisions. This will save lives as well as avoid unnecessary medical complications.

The abortion debate in Malta is unfortunately characterised by long periods of silence, alternating with outbursts of hate, insults and extreme intolerance. This is definitely not on. Political parties should take the lead by encouraging contributions to a clear and objective debate.

While others close their doors to the debate, ours will remain wide open.

published in The Malta Independent on Sunday : 14 November 2021

Il-kredenzjali demokratiċi tal-FKNK

Herrera-Farrugia - email

 

Wara li ilhom ix-xhur jikkampanjaw kontra d-dritt tal-Maltin li b’referendum iħassru r-regolamenti li jippermettu l-kaċċa fir-rebbiegħa l-FKNK issa jridu jneħħu kull dubju dwar il-kredenzjali demokratiċi tagħhom.

Kitbu lis-Segretarju Parlamentari Josè Herrera (għax għadhom ma ndunawx li r-responsabbilta’ tal-Kunsilli Lokali issa għaddiet f’idejn is-Segretarju Parlamentari Stefan Buontempo) u talbuh jieħu passi għax żewġ Kunsilliera fil-Kunsill Lokali ta’ Ħ’Attard (Ralph Cassar ta’ AD u l-Viċi Sindku Marco Spiteri tal-PN) qed jikkummentaw kontra l-kaċċa fir-rebbiegħa fuq il-facebook page tal-Kunsill Lokali.

X’jippretendu dawn: li jagħmlulna sarima ma ħalqna?