Sunday, 10 January 2016

It was revealed on Friday that there are 35,000 Muslims in Malta, out of a total population of 423,000, making it about 8% of the whole.
Although as a nation, we do not discuss race, religion, the clash of civilisations, this issue is never far away from our national consciousness, especially in view of the influx of migrants over recent years and what must have come as a revelation to many on Friday: that there are about 35,000 Muslims in Malta.
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Here is a quote from another article published in the Times of Malta in October 2014, so slightly more than a year ago, belittling fears of Islam and claiming that the Muslim population of Malta was only around 1%.
Spain’s and Malta’s experience of Islam is much longer and more complex. Most Spanish prefer to stress their European identity and to play down their Moorish past. Colouring everything is the fact that the Arabs – “the Moors” – invaded Spain and the Mediterranean in the eighth century and were dominant there for centuries. It is a legacy which still shapes attitudes to this day. This is the position in Malta, too. It may account here for the anti-Muslim prejudices which I have recently heard. 
The fact that it is also a highlight of Malta’s history – which was itself Muslim and under Arab domination for over 200 years – and that Catholic Malta, “heroically alone”, withstood the Turkish Muslim threat to Europe in the pivotal first Great Siege of these islands feeds into the national psyche. 
However, with 6,000 Muslims in Malta, just over one per cent of the population – and these an integrated part of the community – and only about 150 Maltese-born, what is it that so upsets perfectly reasonable and respectable people into paroxysms of racist hatred and fear?
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Assuming both figures were accurate, that would mean the Muslim population of Malta grew from 1% to 8% in just over a year. Or, if the original figures were wrong, it illustrates how naively optimistic many of our rulers are about the demographic threat Muslims represent.

Below you can see figures published in the Guardian in 2011, showing actual and projected Muslim populations around the world. At the time the Muslim population of Malta was estimated at 0.3% and was projected to fall slightly by 2030.


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The Siege of Malta was one of Europe's decisive historical victories against Islam. Now the Muslims are accomplishing through infiltration what they failed to win through war.

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