Kull prattika reliġjuża li żviluppat madwar il-Mediterran u l-Lvant Nofshani, mill-kult ta’ Osiris fl-Eġittu sal-Kristjaneżmu u l-Iżlam, b’mod jew ieħor tat post ċentrali lill-idea tat-twelid mill-ġdid, tal-irxoxt, tal-Għid.

Fl-aħħar sekli, fiċ-ċrieki Nsara, l-Għid donnu tilef postu bħala festa prinċipali lill-Milied, li jiċċelebra l-ewwel twelid mhux it-“tieni” wieħed. Is-sekolarizzazzjoni dejjem aktar qawwija imbagħad għamlet mill-Milied okkażjoni kummerċjalizzata li f’ħafna sensi tilfet il-ħrara reliġjuża.

Issa, nissuspetta li anke dak li kien baqa’ bħala prattika reliġjuża fil-Għid innifsu qed jissekolarizza ruħu. Pereżempju, ma narax tifsira oħra għall-popolarità li ħadet il-mixja ta’ billejl “għal” Puttinu cares. Siewja kemm huma siewja l-għanijiet wara l-mixja, xorta jinħassu bħala żvalutar tas-simboliżmu reliġjuż u mistiku dwar it-tieni twelid, għax dan qed iċedi postu lil mobilizzazzjoni favur ġbir ta’ fondi.

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PILATUS

Kemm ilha għaddejja l-kontroversja dwar il-bank ta’ Pilatus, il-mistifikazzjonijiet u t-teatrini ma naqsux. Anzi, żdiedu matul ix-xhur. Xorta waħda, ftit ħarġu fatti ġodda, minkejja li għaddejjin tant inkjesti maġisterjali.

Forsi d-dewmien kien ta’ min jistennih. Jidher li ħadu snin twal l-investigazzjonijiet mill-FBI dwar l-użu pprojbit taħt il-liġi tal-Istati Uniti ta’ banek Amerikani miċ-chairman tal-Pilatus, biex jiffinanzja proġett bejn l-Iran u l-Venezuela. Ma jidhirx li Pilatus kien involut f’dil-biċċa, għalkemm hemm min irid jgħaqqadha mal-ħidma f’Malta xi snin ilu ta’ linja tat-trasport Iranjana.

Waqt li d-dewmien hu ta’ dwejjaq, hemm bżonn taż-żmien biex il-fatti kollha jiġu stabbiliti bis-sod. Ma tantx kellna minnhom – aktar smajna allegazzjonijiet u spekulazzjonijiet.

Għandhom raġun dawk li jgħidu li jrid jiġi segwit b’galbu l-proċess investigattiv u regolatorju kollu bħal ma ġara fil-bank tan-Nemea. Ara, dwar dak il-każ ma kellniex allegazzjonijiet u teatrini. Min jaf għaliex.

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KNEJJES TA’ ĊIPRU

Id-deputat Ewropew Ċiprijott Costas Mavrides tella wirja ta’ ritratti fil-Parlament Ewropew dwar il-knejjes Ortodossi li jinsabu fil-parti ta’ Ċipru okkupata mit-Turkija. M’inix bniedem “reliġjuż” u ftit naqbel ma’ dawk li jiddelettaw bi kritika bla waqfien lejn it-Turkija.

Imma ħassejtni xxokkjat bil-mod kif il-knejjes f’Ċipru tan-nord jew inbidlu f’moskej, jew (flimkien maċ-ċimiterji) ġew vandalizzati u meqruda, jew inbidlu fi stallel, jew qed jintużaw bħala mħażen għall-armata Torka. Uħud minnhom huma storiċi u kellhom ikoni u statwi ta’ valur kbir.

Kull okkupazzjoni ta’ pajjiż minn pajjiż barrani ġġib magħha danni u tħarbit. F’dal-każ, it-Turkija kellha d-dmir li tara li l-knejjes tal-“oħrajn” jingħataw kull rispett u ħarsien. Ma jidhirx li dan sar. Waqt li jidher ukoll li fin-naħa Ċiprijotta, l-moskej baqgħu miżmuma kif għandhom jkunu u mħarsa.

English Version – Post Easter

All the religious practice that developed in the Mediterranean and Middle East regions, from the Osiris cult in ancient Egypt to Christianity and Islam, carried one way or another a central focus on the idea of rebirth, resurrection, Easter.

Since a few centuries back, Easter seems to have lost among Christian communities, its position as the leading festival to Christmas, which celebrates the initial birth rather than the “second” one. An ever growing secularisation then helped to commercialise the Christmas occasion, which led to a loss, across the board, of religous fervour in its celebration.

Today, I suspect that even what has remained of religious practice in Easter itself, is being fast secularised. For instance, I wonder what any other reason can be discovered to explain the popularity that the night walk “for” Puttinu cares has achieved. No matter how worthy are the aims which motivate that activity, they still amount to a devaluation of the religious and mystical symbolism that defines the second birth at Easter time. This is being superceded by a mobilisation meant to raise funds.

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Pilatus

Since the Pilatus Bank controversy took off, we have had no lack of mystification and melodrama. Actually, it all picked up over the months. Yet, there has been a dearth of new facts, even though so many magisterial inquiries are proceeding.

Perhaps, delays were to be expected. Apparently, many years were expended before FBI enquiries could be concluded concerning the prohibited recourse – as per US law – to American banks by the Pilatus bank’s chairman in order to finance an Iranian-Venezuelan project. It does not seem that the Pilatus bank itself was involved in this affair, although there are some who see some linkage to the activities in Malta a few years back of an Iranian shipping line.

Delays are tiresome. The truth is that time is needed to nail down all relevant data. We have as of now been told about few new relevant facts. Allegations and speculations were mostly the rule.

The claim being made that due investigative and regulatory processes must first be followed to the end is welltaken. Which is what happened at the Nemea bank. To be sure, on that matter, we did not have any blowup of innuendos and theatrics. Come to think of it, why so?

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Churches in Cyprus

Cypriot MEP Costas Mavrides sponsored an exhibition of photos at the European Parliament featuring Orthodox chapels situated in that part of Cyprus that has been occupied by Turkey. I am hardly the “religious” type and usually disagree with those who criticise Turkey indiscriminately.

Still, I was shocked by how churches in northern Cyprus were “converted” into mosques, vandalised or destroyed (cemeteries as well), turned into stables, or utilised as stores by the Turkish army. Some of them had historic value containing icons and statues of priceless significance.

Occupation of any territory by a foreign power always entails damages and destruction. In this case, Turkey had the duty to ensure that the churches of “others” were given full respect and protection. It does not appear that this has been done. And it also appears that meanwhile on the Cypriot side, mosques have been properly maintained and safeguarded.