Already four years have passed since six arson attacks on people or organisations that opposed racism took place in a period of a couple of months. Doors and cars were torched, molotovs were thrown into people’s houses in a clear pattern. The victims had all spoke about, or published, material condemning racism in Malta.

No one has been brought too justice yet. This is scary in itself. It can indicate that the police have not done their job well enough. Or worse still, that the perpetrators are professionals. It isn’t that easy to repeat a crime six times in a few months and escape from justice.

These crimes were extremly serious. Unlike arson attacks which are a result of simple vandalism (which are already serious in themselves), these were done to cause fear on the victims. Probably the goal was that everyone opposing the perpetrators’ racist ideas shuts his mouth up. Luckily that goal wasn’t reached.

My fear is that people, the common law abiding citizens, do not realise how serious this crime because of their fears of migrants from Africa. Some may think the arsonists ‘have a point’ even if they disapprove on the methods they used.

I do not blame anyone who is worried about irregular migration. However I do want to send a message to these people. The mixing of cultures can cause problems, especially in a small island where its people are not used to it. However, no matter what these problems are, these are insignificant compared to, not only this explicit racism, but also the undemocratic harassment of people.

The simple idea of having people not expressing their views because they fear for their health and that of their families should be immediately discarded if we want to enjoy the liberties we already have.

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