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Waleed Aly Fights Back Tears As He Responds To Mosque Terror Attack

Just like many other Muslims, Waleed Aly went to the mosque on Friday like he does every week.

Soon after, news broke that dozens of people had been killed during their own prayers in two different mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

"I know exactly what those moments before the shooting began would have been like. I know how quiet, how still, how introspective these people would have been before they were suddenly gunned down," Aly said on The Project on Friday.

READ MORE: Man Charged After 49 Killed In Mosque 'Terror Attack'

Aly looked visibly distressed and emotional as he conceded he didn't want to talk about Friday's attacks. He admitted he felt it was almost his responsibility, even if that feeling was misguided.

Waleed Aly
Aly went to the mosque on Friday, like he always does. Image: The Project.

As the death toll climbed and more horrifying detail emerged of the long-planned attack, Aly said nothing about the shooting shocked him.

"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.

Killings at places of religious worship are not new. Nearly two years ago, six Muslims were killed at a mosque in Quebec and just six months later a man drove a van into Finsbury mosque in London.

Eleven Jews lost their lives when a man opened fire at the Pittsburgh Synagogue last October and nine Christians were killed at a Church in Charlestown at the end of 2018.

READ MORE: Ardern Says Terrorist Had Gun Licence, Promised Gun Laws Will Now Change

Worshippers pray for victims and families of the Christchurch shootings during an evening vigil at the Lakemba Mosque. Image: AP.

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.

Aly also addressed the rhetoric of hate the alleged attacker published in a 136-page document and he condemned how this speech is alarmingly similar has leaked into parts of Australian politics.

Aly referenced a comment made by a now senior politician describing Islam as a "disease Australia should vaccinate".

The presenter left The Project audience with a plea to unite against extremism and a challenge to Australian leaders to prove their strength when dealing with all terrorists, not just those who are Muslim.

The alleged Christchurch shooter. Image: Facebook.

"Don't change your tune now because it seems the terrorism is coming from a white supremacist.

"If you have been talking about being tough on terrorism for years and the communities that allegedly support it, then show us how tough you are now."

An Australian citizen has been charged with murder and will face court on Saturday in Christchurch. Australian authorities have also launched an investigation into the man involved in the attacks.

READ MORE: What We Know About The Christchurch Shooter

Authorities have confirmed that none of the people involved in the attacks were on terror watch lists.

Contact Siobhan at skenna@networkten.com.au