Waleed Reflects On The 'Most Moving' Christchurch Tribute
His impassioned monologue on The Project in the wake of the Christchurch massacre has been seen by millions around the world, but there was a different tribute Waleed Aly wanted to talk about on Sunday.
Aly's emotional monologue, in which he vividly described what it would have been like for worshippers inside the Christchurch mosques moments before their lives were torn apart, has since garnered more than 12 million views.
The Project host's reaction to the New Zealand terror attack touched countless people around the globe when he described the feeling of attending a mosque as like "fish in a barrel".
"I know exactly what those moments before the shooting began would have been like," a visibly distressed Aly said on The Project on Friday.
"I know how quiet, how still, how introspective these people would have been before they were suddenly gunned down."
Aly joined The Sunday Project this week, where he was asked by co-host Lisa Wilkinson about the responses he had received to his remarks in the last 48 hours.
Earlier in the program co-host, Hamish McDonald who was on the ground in Christchurch said a lot of people had approached him and said Aly's monologue had moved them and that it had prompted a change in their behaviour since.
Aly said he was "really touched" by the responses he had received and said Hamish's feedback about the New Zealand response mattered to him "far more than statistics".
"I think you just feel the response from the community generally," he added.
Aly also took a moment to share a special tribute that was left in the wake of the attack at the Fire and Rescue NSW station in Newtown, Sydney.
The sign read "Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un" an Arabic phrase which translates to "To god we belong and to him we return".
Aly explained the phrase was said by Muslims every time someone dies, and said the sign was one of the most moving things he had ever seen, showing the tributes went "deep" and far beyond well wishes and prayers.
"That’s actually saying we want to understand you, we want to connect with you on your terms and in your way," he said.
"It’s those little things that will make a difference".
Aly said it was now also time to "break the cycle".
"If you amplify the cycle, if you move from one thing to the next and there’s constant retaliation, there’s only one way that this ends and that’s that it doesn’t," he said.
"And that’s the thing that really worries me".
Aly said he initially did not want to speak on The Project on Friday, just hours after the attack had occurred, but said he felt it was almost his responsibility, even if that feeling was misguided.
"I'm gutted and I'm scared and I feel overcome with utter hopelessness. The most dishonest thing, the most dishonest thing to say would be that I'm shocked," he said on Friday.
Aly described this type of terror as "slaughter by appointment".
"It's scary because like many other Muslims, I am going to keep attending those appointments and it feels like fish in a barrel."