Imam Khalid Latif visited a Rohingya refugee camp twice and recounted what he saw.
“It was evident that what was going on there wasn’t just hostility, violence. It’s just straight up genocide,” he explained.
More than 720,000 Rohingyas have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh since August 2017 in response to the violence perpetrated by Myanmar’s security forces. 6,700 Rohingyas are estimated to have been killed, including 730 children under five years old. The UN officials call it a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing.” Now more than one million of the refugees are living in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.
“The level of atrocity that came through these narratives made it very clear that there was just not regard whatsoever for shared humanity for the Rohingya people,” Latif said.
Latif returned back to the same refugee camp in August 2018 after raising $1 million for the refugees through his community. He said he saw a stark difference in the campsite’s treatments.
“Money that we’ve raised have helped build out now health centers, build out safe spaces for women and children who make up 60-80% of the refugees,” he explained. “But these men and women are still in a place where they don’t know where they’re going to be a year from now.”
Latif says he didn’t find any of the people from his first visit but the refugees he spoke to still have harrowing stories to tell.