A Muslim, Australian journalist – Waleed Aly delivered a powerful response condemning the attack that took place in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday.
“You’ll have to forgive me, these won’t be my best words,” said Waleed Aly, a co-host on The Project – a current affairs and talk show television program.
Waleed Aly – a lawyer, writer, and media presenter, is a Muslim himself and was at first, reluctant to speak about the mass shootings in which a white supremacist killed 49 people. But ultimately, he felt it was his responsibility.
“You’ll have to forgive me, these won’t be my best words…”
— The Project (@theprojecttv) March 15, 2019
He choked back tears saying, “I’m gutted, I’m scared, and I’m overcome with utter hopelessness”.
He added that the “most dishonest thing would be to say that I’m shocked”. Aly went on further to say he was also not shocked by terrorism in the past including attacks on a Quebec City mosque, London’s Finsbury Park mosque, a Pittsburgh synagogue and a church in South Carolina.
Waleed Aly, being a devout Muslim also went to the mosque on Friday, as he does every Friday, and knew “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,” he continued.
“This was slaughter by appointment,” Aly said. That’s what made it scary because Muslims including himself will continue “attending those appointments.”
The journalist spoke about reading the gunman’s manifesto.
He seemed to read excerpts from it, attacking Muslims and Islam as the real reason for the terrorism and bloodshed. But surprisingly, Aly said “How do those words sound when I tell you they weren’t part of the manifesto? They were published today, after the attacks, on an Australian parliament letterhead.”
The excerpts were actually those of an Australian Senator – Fraser Anning, released in light of the attack, which have been condemned by many.
This is an official press release from Fraser Anning, an Australian Senator about the #NZMosqueShooting.
It is absolutely one of the most anti-Muslim and bigoted things I’ve read from a politician, and to come after a terrorist attack — unbelievable. pic.twitter.com/H1xgV22A4m
— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) March 15, 2019
The bigoted words from the Senator were torn apart by many.
The remarks by Senator Fraser Anning blaming the murderous attacks by a violent, right-wing, extremist terrorist in New Zealand on immigration are disgusting. Those views have no place in Australia, let alone the Australian Parliament.
— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) March 15, 2019
It was an awful statement to have followed the attack.
Queensland Senator Fraser Anning essentially said that the Christchurch victims deserved it for being Muslim and then quoted the Bible to shore up his point pic.twitter.com/CZxifNDcmc
— Molly Crabapple (@mollycrabapple) March 15, 2019
The emotional journalist struggles to keep his composure as he asks leaders for support.
“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 the communities who allegedly support it, show us how tough you are now.”
He finishes by urging for unit. “Now we come together. Now we understand this is not a game. Terrorism doesn’t choose its victims selectively. We are one community.”
His extremely powerful address has struck a chord amongst viewers.
You have stated so well what I feel. I particularly noted how you expressed that quiet time of sincerity when the shooting in Mosques began. It is so chilling and I feel sick in my stomach at the thought. If only we could love one another our country would be so different.
— Kaye Jones (@jones_kayemary1) March 15, 2019
Respect to Waleed for publicly putting this on record.
— #Christchurch🇳🇿❤️🇦🇺 (@COCONUT_DUNDEE) March 15, 2019
They believe he’s stated what they all feel.
Well done mate. I am dying inside and I cant imagine how hard it was to not just want to go home and curl up with your family and hold them.
— Chicken of the Sea 🌈📡🔬🧲🔭🧬🧪🎇 (@Bob64St) March 15, 2019
You made me cry Waleed. You are right, we are all one community, cut anyone of us and we all bleed the same colour. My thoughts and condolences to all of these poor families.
— Bill Devanney (@BillDevanney) March 15, 2019
People could not hold back their tears.
Waleed’s words had me in tears
— Dame Diva (@humf59) March 15, 2019
Man. I love this guy. I’ve never seen him look so vulnerable, sad, small.
Much love to you, Waleed. Stay strong.
— Simon Davies (@SimonDaviesJnr) March 15, 2019
It is obvious that his display of emotion, mixed with his genuine concern about the state of the country and the safety of its people, is unmatched. His deliverance of this speech will always be held in high regards.
What do you think about this? Let us know in the comments.
Cover image via Network 10