World Bulletin / News Desk
Mario Farrugia Borg, a leading Maltese politician and convert to Islam, looks set to run for election for the European Parliament.
The former right-wing local councilor who left the nationalist party to join Labour Party two years ago, told Malta Today that party leader Joseph Muscat had asked him to run for election in May, an invitation he accepted.
However, Borg stressed that his identity as a Muslim would have very little to do with his politics in the European parliament, stating that he plans on focusing on more social issues like austerity and immigration.
"I stand for the poor, the weak and the emarginated and those who are at risk of being left behind... it is these people who are suffering because of austerity policies advocated by conservative governments," he was quoted as saying.
Borg, who is married to a Moroccan-born wife, expressed that his conversion to Islam was purely down to personal reasons and it would not affect his identity as a Maltese, and that he was not specifically aiming to gain the votes of an exclusive Muslim community in Malta, although this may be a natural outcome of his religious affiliation.
"I am Maltese and my intention is to attract the vote of the Maltese. People should vote for me for what I stand for, not for my religion," he said.
When asked about whether his beliefs would influence his politics, he stated that the beliefs he holds are universal to most religions, mentioning fundamentals like kindness to neighbors and mutual respect.
Although his policies include a crackdown on illegal immigration to the country, which has been increasing due to the instability in Libya, he demonstrated an understanding stance, saying that stability in Libya would only work for Malta’s benefit.
He also said that his immigration policy had nothing to do with racism or xenophobia, which he condemn, but more to do with maintaining ‘sustainable numbers’ of immigrants to ensure successful integration.Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Aralık 2013, 17:43