"These won't be my best words..." Waleed Aly's moving monologue on Christchurch.

Mamamia has chosen not to show the face of the man in custody for the Christchurch terror attack, or to include or link to any distressing material about his acts. Instead, we are dedicated to remembering the names, faces and stories of the victims.

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.

Christchurch shooting video
Image via Twitter.

Aly reads excerpts that attack the Islamic faith, saying "It is the religious equivalent of fascism", and states that those who follow it "cannot be too surprised" when violence is perpetuated against them.

However, as Aly goes on he reveals such words were not in fact from the gunman's manifesto and rather were published after the shootings by an Australian politician, Senator Fraser Anning.

The Project co-host continued to say that while he appreciates Scott Morrison's comments on the attack, which the Prime Minister has called a "callous right-wing extremist attack", the journalist says: "I have something to ask."


"Don’t change your tune now because the terrorism seems to be coming from a white supremacist. If you’ve been talking about being tough on terrorism for years, and [on] the communities who allegedly support it, show us how tough you are now.

“Now, now we come together. Now we understand this is not a game. Terrorism doesn’t choose its victims selectively. We are one community.

"Everything we say to try to tear people apart, demonise particular groups, set them against each other; that all has consequences, even if we’re not the ones with our fingers on the trigger."

Since posted to The Project's Facebook page on Friday Night, the video has attracted over four million views and garnered over 100,000 reactions.

News organisations from around the world are reporting on the Australian broadcaster's powerful words and calls for unity at a time of heartbreak.

For more on this topic:

Brenton Tarrant: Before the Christchurch shooting began, a manifesto was published.

Why news outlets should think twice about publishing the New Zealand shooter’s livestream.

"New Zealand's darkest day": Everything we know about the Christchurch shooting.