By Prof. Andrew Azzopardi | Dean, Faculty for Social Wellbeing
As Dean of the Faculty for Social Wellbeing I unreservedly condemn the recent spate of arson attacks which has culminated in an attack on the Valletta Mayor Mr Alfred Zammit. I would like to show our solidarity with all the victims direct or indirect of the attack especially to Mr Zammit.
Violence is never committed in a vacuum and while the patterns and connections between these crimes is not yet evident, we call on all the authorities to pursue all evidence wherever it may lead. I also call on the authorities to move beyond the criminal implications and examine the sociological and structural forces that may be creating a breeding ground for crime.
Moreover, my Office has noted a worrying pattern of violence being exercised against individuals who occupy roles of responsibility, be they journalists, politicians or even members of local councils. It is impossible to rally the most excellent persons to some of the most fundamental roles in our society if the threat of violence looms over their heads continuously – this could potentially create serious problems in our democracy.
I urge that as a community we work at grassroots level to adopt the value of tolerance and the ability to civilly disagree with one another.
Disclaimer: Opinions and thoughts expressed within this article do not necessarily reflect those of the University of Malta.