On Friday afternoon, an alleged white supremacist opened fire targeting two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, where Muslims were gathering for their afternoon prayer.
As it stands, at least 49 people have been killed, with another 48 injured – seeing Prime Minister Jacinda Arden deem it “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”.
Waleed Aly, a Muslim academic and journalist, delivered a heartbreaking monologue on The Project on Friday night, telling the world why he was “not shocked” by the horrific terrorist attack targeting the Muslim faith.
“You’ll have to forgive me, these won’t be my best words…” the broadcaster began.
Aly explained he was hesitant to talk about the topic all day, but eventually felt like he had “an overwhelming sense of responsibility to do so”.
“Of all the things that I could say tonight — that I am gutted, that I am scared, and that I am filled with utter hopelessness — the most dishonest thing, the most dishonest thing would be to say that I am shocked.”
“I’m simply not. There’s nothing about what happened in Christchurch today that shocks me.”
Aly shared he similarly was not shocked by the attack on a Quebec City mosque two years ago, or London’s Finsbury Park mosque six months later. Neither was he shocked, he explains, by the killings in a Pittsburg synagogue late last year and in a church in Charleston, South Carolina.
“If we’re honest, we’ll know this has been coming.”
Aly said he was at a mosque earlier on Friday, as he does every Friday, sharing he knows “exactly what those moments before the shooting began would have been like”.
“I know how quiet, how still, how introspective those people would’ve been before they were suddenly gunned down, how separated from the world they would’ve been feeling until the world came in and tore their lives apart.”
The journalist continued saying he knows that the gunman, who has been identified as Brenton Tarrant, specifically chose that time, knowing “well enough how profoundly defenceless their victims were in that moment.”
“This was slaughter by appointment.”
Aly shared that despite the horror, what makes this attack so scary is that he and “millions of other Muslims” will continue to attend Mosque as usual.
The broadcaster then spoke about reading the 37-page manifesto which the 28-year-old Australian man, who on Saturday morning has been charged over the Christchurch attack, published online just hours before the shooting.