Meet­ing be­tween St Paul’s Bay coun­cil, Mus­lim com­mu­nity ‘to open space for di­a­logue’

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

The Of­fice of the Pres­i­dent said yes­ter­day that, con­trary to in­cor­rect me­dia re­ports, a meet­ing be­tween the St Paul’s Bay lo­cal coun­cil and the res­i­dent Mus­lim com­mu­nity will be held with the sole aim of cre­at­ing space for di­a­logue.

The OPR said in­cor­rect re­port­ing and spec­u­la­tion would only serve to cre­ate di­vi­sion in our com­mu­ni­ties. “Part of the Pres­i­dency’s role is to see that there is unity, not di­vi­sion, be­cause Mal­tese fam­i­lies de­serve to live in a serene en­vi­ron­ment within their com­mu­ni­ties.”

The Of­fice of the Pres­i­dent was re­act­ing to re­ports that Mrs Coleiro Preca would be meet­ing with the St Paul’s Bay lo­cal coun­cil over its ob­jec­tions to the open­ing of a prayer room in Triq il-Maz­zola, Buġibba. The coun­cil, led by Mayor Gra­ziella Galea, said its de­ci­sion was taken af­ter lis­ten­ing to the views of res­i­dents. The coun­cil also said the cho­sen site was in­ad­e­quate as it would re­duce public or­der and cause in­con­ve­nience and also con­trib­ute to the park­ing prob­lem. The de­ci­sion has re­ceived mixed re­ac­tions.

While some have ap­plauded the coun­cil for tak­ing this stand, oth­ers have crit­i­cised it and com­pared its stance to those taken by anti-im­mi­gra­tion groups.

One of these groups, the Movi­ment Pa­tri­jotti Maltin, has la­belled Mrs Coleiro Preca as a “traitor” af­ter news broke that she had con­vened a meet­ing.

Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca

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