Queen Rania Al-Abdullah has spoken passionately about the harrowing treatment of Rohingya refugees, following her visit to camps in Bangladesh.
This comes after over 600,000 people from the Muslim minority in Rakhine, Myanmar, had to flee their homes to Bangladesh to escape violence. “Just walking around the camp today, the residents have spoken to me of the unimaginable acts of violence that they have witnessed,” the Jordanian royal said. “Children have been orphaned, women brutalised, family members butchered, villages burned to the ground.”
“I’ve heard family members telling me how they’ve seen their own parents killed, right before their eyes,” she added.
Queen Rania called into question whether there would be so little said around the world about the tragedy if Muslims were perpetrators rather than the victims.
Along with a video uploaded to Facebook explaining the situation many Rohingya people find themselves in, she wrote:
“For years, the Rohingya people in Myanmar have been victims of discrimination, injustice, and oppression. Sadly, this systematic persecution of a religious minority is taking place in full view of the world.
“One has to ask, why is this tragedy being ignored? Have suspicion and prejudice against Muslims become so ingrained that the world is no longer capable of seeing the Rohingya people as innocent victims and recognizing their plight?
“The UN and the international community must put an end to the suffering of the Rohingya people and safeguard their rights – not because it’s their job, but because it’s what justice demands.”
As well as highlighting the violence that brought Rohungya Muslims to Bangladesh, she explained that although they have found safety “their plight is not over.” Many are not getting enough food and over 95 per cent don’t have access to safe water.
Queen Rania explained that 60 per cent of the refugees are children, due to the fact that many males above the age of 12 have been killed.
While the mother of four was keen to praise the humanitarian efforts from oganisations such as UNICEF, as well as the kindness of government and people of Bangladesh, she also said that it is clear there is an “urgent need to scale up” the humanitarian effort internationally.