While Jordan’s tough-talking King Abdullah II has made good on his promise to launch a “relentless war” against the Islamic State, his spouse Queen Rania has been ratcheting up support from the public.
After Friday’s morning prayers, the 44-year-old queen—dubbed one of the world’s most beautiful royal consorts—personally led thousands of Jordanians in a protest across the streets of the capital Amman against the IS.
The massive rally came a few days after the extremist group released a video showing Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kaseasbeh being burned alive in a cage.
The video elicited outrage from across the Islamic world, with even Al-Qaeda and those sympathetic to IS condemning the group for their unprecedented brutality.
“Today I am just like every Jordanian…I think they (IS) were hoping to frighten Jordanians, but all they did was make us angry and united and very determined to rid this world of its evil,” she said during the rally.
Earlier, both she and King Abdullah made an emotional visit to Kaseasbeh’s grieving family. While the king personally comforted the pilot’s father, a crying Queen Rania hugged the pilot’s grief-stricken widow.
A Modern Queen
Popular consensus has seen Queen Rania as a very modern monarch who likes to keep in touch with her people and actively promote their well-being.
Since marrying into Jordan’s royal family, she has used her title to advocate for community empowerment, youth welfare, education, and women’s rights.
While she has worn a hijab for official functions, she says modern Islamic women should have a free choice whether to wear it or not.
‘IS Bringing Arab World Back To The Dark Ages’
Last year, she also made headlines when she denounced the Islamic State’s videos depicting beheadings and summary-style executions.
“They are trying to hijack our identity and drag us back to the Dark Ages,” she said.
The queen also challenged the rest of the Arab world to stand up and write their own legacy because if they don’t, then “the extremists will do it for us.”