Should Europeans offer their apologies for their colonization?

Should the European apologize for their colonization?

  • Yes

    Votes: 29 11.5%
  • No

    Votes: 147 58.3%
  • No, but educate the European children more about this subject

    Votes: 76 30.2%

  • Total voters
    252
  • This poll will close: .
Oct 2011
421
Croatia
Did you even read what I said? I explicitly said that not all Europeans should apologise. Learn to read. Stop saying "we" or "our":

"Apologies come from the states, which are not understood by the non-Europeans to be the whole population of a country. No one is saying the average Dutch is to blame for the millions of deaths from Suriname and South Africa to Papua and New Zealand by Dutch colonial ravage. Only the state of Holland has responsibility. This is as dumb as saying that all Cambodians are to blame for the Cambodian genocide instead of just the Khmer Communists under Pol Pot."

Also, what do you want me to call far-right Hindu sectarianism, an ultra-conservative, militaristic and dictatorial ideology then if not fascist?
Agreed, but a lot of the time I have seen the guilt expanded from colonialist states and governments to whole population, not just of those states but even Europe. I guess I had an automatic reaction.

Fascism brings connotations of imperialism. Considering all the crap going on in India, I see Hindu far-right as being inherently defensive, protectionist phenomenon.

I really don't buy this seeing how Hinduism is the third largest religion and has numbers rivalling the worldwide population of Muslims. They certainly outnumber Muslims in the Indian subcontinent alone by as much as half a billion. What I think is that you're taking the numbers of conversion, not mass murder, to Hinduism in Afghanistan, Pakistan and northern India alone that used to have large numbers of Hindus that gradually lost ground to Islam as the Muslims advanced.

And again, read above. No one is asking Europeans as a whole to apologise or holding them responsible as a whole, so it's ridiculous to hold Muslims with collective blame and guilt. Now, you could still say that the likes of Turkey or Saudi Arabia should apologise, but this is also ridiculous since none of the Muslim states that conquered in the past exist (virtually all modern-day Muslim states are post-colonial states either created and left by European colonisers or created artificial nation-states through anti-colonial liberation struggles) unless one wants to say Turkey is the legitimate successor of the Ottoman Empire. Certainly none of the Muslim states that conquered India in whole or in part, like the Umayyads, survived to this day, not to mention that the conquest of India involved few Muslim states, most actually involving individual Muslim warlords who carved and created their own states independent of existing Muslim polities that, again, no longer exist.
Maybe, maybe not. A millenia is a long time to make up for demographic losses, although there is certainly a possibility that 400 millon number is overblown. But even individual Muslim rulers killed quite a lot: going by Wiki, Ghiyas ud din Balban killed 100 000 Hindus, Firuz Shah Tughlaq 180 000 Hindus, Bahmani Sultanate 500 000 in just two years, Delhi Sultanate 100 000 in 1398... these are just named massacres, but comparing it, scales of mass murders during Muslim rule were much greater than during British occupation. Keep in mind that 400 million was not necessarily number of murders, just demographic loss, which can include reduced natality, deaths due to hunger, disease etc.

Turkey is as much of a successor to Ottoman Empire as modern-day UK is to British Empire, France is to French Empire, or modern-day Germany is to German Empire and Third Reich. Which is to say, it is the same bloody state. It is not like Austria-Hungary or Yugoslavia which fell apart (and even then, you could make a case about Austria/Hungary and Serbia, respectively, being primary successor states). So if UK should apologize for its colonialist past, then Turkey should apologize for its own. As for conquest of India, I actually agree with that.

This is hogwash. This is like saying the Anglo-Saxons should have invaded, conquered and subjugated Scandinavia and its population because Scandinavian kings supported the Vikings. In any case, that is only for the Algerian case. You're not going to say that Aboriginal Australians or Native Americans were raiding the coast of England, now, do you?

I do agree with your last sentence, however, except for the term "globalism" which I don't really know what it means. I prefer the term imperialism.
And if you said that (about Anglo-Saxons) you would not have been wrong. That is how things were done in the day - and even today, for that matter (e.g. NATO intervention in Afghanistan). But they lacked the capability to do such a thing. As for colonization of Austrialia and Americas, yeah, that stuff had no excuse.

Globalism is an ideology which holds that all important matters should be solved on global scale with no regard to sovereignity of nation-state. You can say that colonialism and imperialism are early forms of globalism (or else that colonialism and globalism are forms of imperialism). They both were justified in the same way that globalism often is, that is, that peoples / nation-states are incapable of properly governing themselves and thus require "benevolent guidance from above". I used term "globalism" because, in my mind at least, "imperialism" has connotations of active state involvement ("Imperium" as used in Roman Republic was power given over something by the state), and is thus too narrow; while globalism can also include activities of non-state actors (individuals, NGOs, multinational corporations etc.).

Read it already, thanks.
One note: Why you use the term "globalism" and not "globalization"?
Globalization is a process, and some aspects of it are possibly impossible to arrest. Globalism, however, is an ideology which is helping drive globalization. I explained it in more detail in the last paragraph of my reply to Escritor.
 
Aug 2018
274
America
Agreed, but a lot of the time I have seen the guilt expanded from colonialist states and governments to whole population, not just of those states but even Europe. I guess I had an automatic reaction.

Fascism brings connotations of imperialism. Considering all the crap going on in India, I see Hindu far-right as being inherently defensive, protectionist phenomenon.
Just about every example of fascism I can think of other than Nazism and Italian fascism isn't imperialist. Latin American fascist regimes during the Cold War are the most obvious example that come to my mind. And I really would like to see those examples that make you say "a lot of the time" there's collective guilt against all Europeans. Because I don't know of a single one.



Maybe, maybe not. A millenia is a long time to make up for demographic losses, although there is certainly a possibility that 400 millon number is overblown. But even individual Muslim rulers killed quite a lot: going by Wiki, Ghiyas ud din Balban killed 100 000 Hindus, Firuz Shah Tughlaq 180 000 Hindus, Bahmani Sultanate 500 000 in just two years, Delhi Sultanate 100 000 in 1398... these are just named massacres, but comparing it, scales of mass murders during Muslim rule were much greater than during British occupation. Keep in mind that 400 million was not necessarily number of murders, just demographic loss, which can include reduced natality, deaths due to hunger, disease etc.

Killing in the dozens of thousands, which is very common in history (see the Neo-Assyrians who also slaughtered in the dozens of thousands, when the population of the Near East hardly exceeded 30 million) and which Hindu polities and warlords also carried against themselves and against non-Hindus, is still a far cry that can give you a number of half a billion dead. You're telling me that Muslims were able to kill 50 million people every century between the 7th and 16th centuries, when the Mongols only killed about 11 million people in about a century in all their conquests, and that includes the numbers for the conquest of China. Just for further comparison, you're telling me that Muslims killed roughly one Roman Empire worth of population every century they ruled, invaded or waged war in India before the coming of Europeans. That is simply impossible to the point the number is utterly absurd.

Also, no, the scale of death under Muslim rulers does not match British rule, for one because no single Muslim ruler ever held the entirety of India, and India was never fully under Muslim rule either even when counting all independent Muslim polities. The British in the 19th century killed some 50 million people according to Tharoor, and a further 50 million in the 48 remaining years of British rule in the 20th century is plausible as well, especially when at least Western demographers agree that some 50 million people were killed in just three years in China thanks to the Great Leap Forward, and even the Chinese government and Chinese demographers accept a figure of 20 million deaths. Furthermore, WWI ended with 20 million deaths in just four years, the vast majority in the Western front which is smaller than British India, and WWII with 40-60 million deaths in just five, mainly in Eastern Europe which has about the same size as British India. The British truly devastated India to an extent that no previous ruler, both native and foreign, of India ever did. Even if you're skeptical about the numbers for the 19th century, consider that 19th century China also lost some 50 million people, mostly thanks to the Taiping rebellion but also due to other rebellions, wars with Europeans and Japan as well as things like mass consumption of opium during periods of famine resulting from all this.


Turkey is as much of a successor to Ottoman Empire as modern-day UK is to British Empire, France is to French Empire, or modern-day Germany is to German Empire and Third Reich. Which is to say, it is the same bloody state. It is not like Austria-Hungary or Yugoslavia which fell apart (and even then, you could make a case about Austria/Hungary and Serbia, respectively, being primary successor states). So if UK should apologize for its colonialist past, then Turkey should apologize for its own. As for conquest of India, I actually agree with that.
Yeah, I agree in the case of Turkey and the Ottoman Empire, and I do support Turkish apologies and reparations for things like the Armenian genocide.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Azad67
Oct 2011
421
Croatia
Just about every example of fascism I can think of other than Nazism and Italian fascism isn't imperialist. Latin American fascist regimes during the Cold War are the most obvious example that come to my mind. And I really would like to see those examples that make you say "a lot of the time" there's collective guilt against all Europeans. Because I don't know of a single one.
Nazism and Italian fascism is what most people think of when they say "fascist".

This is just from a quick google search:
Europe won't resolve the 'migrant crisis' until it faces its own past
Afrophobia: Europe should confront this legacy of colonialism and the slave trade
http://www.ep.liu.se/ecp/097/007/ecp12097007.pdf
Immigration will remain a toxic issue until Britain faces up to its colonial past | David Wearing

EDIT: Granted, only the first two imply that entire Europe should pay for Western European colonialism.

Killing in the dozens of thousands, which is very common in history (see the Neo-Assyrians who also slaughtered in the dozens of thousands, when the population of the Near East hardly exceeded 30 million) and which Hindu polities and warlords also carried against themselves and against non-Hindus, is still a far cry that can give you a number of half a billion dead. You're telling me that Muslims were able to kill 50 million people every century between the 7th and 16th centuries, when the Mongols only killed about 11 million people in about a century in all their conquests, and that includes the numbers for the conquest of China. Just for further comparison, you're telling me that Muslims killed roughly one Roman Empire worth of population every century they ruled, invaded or waged war in India before the coming of Europeans. That is simply impossible to the point the number is utterly absurd.

Also, no, the scale of death under Muslim rulers does not match British rule, for one because no single Muslim ruler ever held the entirety of India, and India was never fully under Muslim rule either even when counting all independent Muslim polities. The British in the 19th century killed some 50 million people according to Tharoor, and a further 50 million in the 48 remaining years of British rule in the 20th century is plausible as well, especially when at least Western demographers agree that some 50 million people were killed in just three years in China thanks to the Great Leap Forward, and even the Chinese government and Chinese demographers accept a figure of 20 million deaths. Furthermore, WWI ended with 20 million deaths in just four years, the vast majority in the Western front which is smaller than British India, and WWII with 40-60 million deaths in just five, mainly in Eastern Europe which has about the same size as British India. The British truly devastated India to an extent that no previous ruler, both native and foreign, of India ever did. Even if you're skeptical about the numbers for the 19th century, consider that 19th century China also lost some 50 million people, mostly thanks to the Taiping rebellion but also due to other rebellions, wars with Europeans and Japan as well as things like mass consumption of opium during periods of famine resulting from all this.
As I said, if number is indeed correct, it was not all just "murders". We are talking about demographic losses here, not necessarily slaughter; number thus includes reduced natality, famine, disease etc., basically the same crap that British caused in India during their own rule. If British killed 100 million people in 150 years of rule, then Muslims could have killed 400 million in 600 years. That being said, I had not been able to find anything really reliable.
 

robto

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,159
Lisbon, Portugal
As I said, if number is indeed correct, it was not all just "murders". We are talking about demographic losses here, not necessarily slaughter; number thus includes reduced natality, famine, disease etc., basically the same crap that British caused in India during their own rule. If British killed 100 million people in 150 years of rule, then Muslims could have killed 400 million in 600 years. That being said, I had not been able to find anything really reliable.
This kind of number concerning the supposed victims of Islamic rule is problematic.

First of It's very difficult to account such numbers when we are talking about demographics from a pre-modern period whereas modern techniques of census accounts were not really available.

Second, the 600 years seems like a very unreliable chronological framework. Why 600 years? Does the Mughal Empire also included in that frame? We really experienced a population decline during the Mughal period? Justify this, please. Did the Indian population consistently lost population over that period of Muslim ruling presence?

Third, these "Muslims" were probably composed of a variety of different polities and different sects, with different policies concerning the treatment of non-Muslims, etc. It's probably that some Muslim polities were responsible for large-scale massacres and wide destruction while others did nothing of that sort.
And saying all that, which authority in our current times, should be addressed to take responsibility of those supposed Muslim crimes against India? You mean...modern-day Pakistan?
 
Aug 2018
274
America
Nazism and Italian fascism is what most people think of when they say "fascist".

This is just from a quick google search:
Europe won't resolve the 'migrant crisis' until it faces its own past
Afrophobia: Europe should confront this legacy of colonialism and the slave trade
http://www.ep.liu.se/ecp/097/007/ecp12097007.pdf
Immigration will remain a toxic issue until Britain faces up to its colonial past | David Wearing

EDIT: Granted, only the first two imply that entire Europe should pay for Western European colonialism.
I know, but most examples of fascism actually come from the Cold War era. Even European fascism of the interwar era isn't necessarily imperialist. Think of Austrofascism, Spanish Franquismo, Miklos Horthy or the Romanian Iron Guard, none of which are imperialist nor expansionist yet scholars classify as fascist.

None of your four examples holds Europeans as a collective guilty for European crimes. Even you agree that at least the latter two only "imply it" which already shows how weak those examples are. Saying "Europe" is not holding collective responsibility for all Europeans, it uses the term "Europe" as a collective for the European states, and even then, the articles in question clarify only the main European states like France that had colonies. Using the term "Europe" like this is an accepted, even if somewhat colloquial, convention. It's no different than saying "Turkey has to own to its own genocidal past", which doesn't mean the Turks in their entirety, only the Turkish state.


As I said, if number is indeed correct, it was not all just "murders". We are talking about demographic losses here, not necessarily slaughter; number thus includes reduced natality, famine, disease etc., basically the same crap that British caused in India during their own rule. If British killed 100 million people in 150 years of rule, then Muslims could have killed 400 million in 600 years. That being said, I had not been able to find anything really reliable.
The numbers for the Mongols also include deaths from famine and disease caused by wars. Reduced natality should not count for deaths. One thing is for people to die. Another thing is for people not to be born. Otherwise, the British killed even more people. Also, the British had an industrial economy, or rather, created its industrial economy based on exploitation of India, and ruled all of India. No single Muslim empire ever ruled all of India, not even the Mughals came close, and did not exploit India to create an industrial economy of mass production, not to mention how ridiculously decentralised the Mughals were (the Portuguese always talk about independent kingdoms for instance, British rule on the other hand was highly centralised and even its rajahs and zamindars had less power than the European viceroys that oversaw them). Even the number of 400 million in 600 years ends with numbers as high as the British per century (about 100 million dead every century), and again, that's impossible with the amount of territory they ruled and their much lower levels of technology, lack of an attempted industrialisation and decentralised authority.
 
Oct 2011
421
Croatia
I know, but most examples of fascism actually come from the Cold War era. Even European fascism of the interwar era isn't necessarily imperialist. Think of Austrofascism, Spanish Franquismo, Miklos Horthy or the Romanian Iron Guard, none of which are imperialist nor expansionist yet scholars classify as fascist.

None of your four examples holds Europeans as a collective guilty for European crimes. Even you agree that at least the latter two only "imply it" which already shows how weak those examples are. Saying "Europe" is not holding collective responsibility for all Europeans, it uses the term "Europe" as a collective for the European states, and even then, the articles in question clarify only the main European states like France that had colonies. Using the term "Europe" like this is an accepted, even if somewhat colloquial, convention. It's no different than saying "Turkey has to own to its own genocidal past", which doesn't mean the Turks in their entirety, only the Turkish state.
It was an impression I got from some articles I've read, but these were years ago so I had to pull closest things I found. And at any rate:
Europe won't resolve the 'migrant crisis' until it faces its own past
The gap in living standards between Europe and other countries is not a natural gap. The economic motivation that drives poorer people to migrate has been produced and continues to be reproduced by practices emanating from richer countries, and by those same countries’ deficient understandings of their own global dominance.
Europe’s relatively high standard of living and social infrastructure have not been established or maintained separate from either the labour and wealth of others, or the creation of misery elsewhere.
If we want to see a different Europe that’s able to deal with a crisis of this magnitude in a genuinely humanitarian way, then we need to narrate the colonial past of its constituent countries and the implications of the colonial past in the very project of Europe itself. We need to acknowledge the imperial past as the very condition of possibility of Europe and European countries today – with all the rights, duties, and obligations to reparatory justice that that entails.
That article damn sure sounds like it holds entire Europe collectively guilty of colonial practices, seeing how living standard is higher even in Poland or Croatia than it is in, say, Nigeria or Ethiopia - nevermind the fact that Poland and Croatia themselves ended up victims of imperial practices of their stronger neighbours more than once, or that higher standard of living was enabler, not consequence, of Western European colonial adventures.

The numbers for the Mongols also include deaths from famine and disease caused by wars. Reduced natality should not count for deaths. One thing is for people to die. Another thing is for people not to be born. Otherwise, the British killed even more people. Also, the British had an industrial economy, or rather, created its industrial economy based on exploitation of India, and ruled all of India. No single Muslim empire ever ruled all of India, not even the Mughals came close, and did not exploit India to create an industrial economy of mass production, not to mention how ridiculously decentralised the Mughals were (the Portuguese always talk about independent kingdoms for instance, British rule on the other hand was highly centralised and even its rajahs and zamindars had less power than the European viceroys that oversaw them). Even the number of 400 million in 600 years ends with numbers as high as the British per century (about 100 million dead every century), and again, that's impossible with the amount of territory they ruled and their much lower levels of technology, lack of an attempted industrialisation and decentralised authority.
Reduced natality still leads to demographic losses, and is thus essentially murder. And it hardly matters that no single Muslim empire ruled all of India, when Muslim empires (plural) ruled all or at least majority of it.

This kind of number concerning the supposed victims of Islamic rule is problematic.

First of It's very difficult to account such numbers when we are talking about demographics from a pre-modern period whereas modern techniques of census accounts were not really available.

Second, the 600 years seems like a very unreliable chronological framework. Why 600 years? Does the Mughal Empire also included in that frame? We really experienced a population decline during the Mughal period? Justify this, please. Did the Indian population consistently lost population over that period of Muslim ruling presence?
As far as I'm aware, 600 years is the timespan of significant Muslim political presence in India.

Not sure if consistently, but:
Mughal India ~ The Biggest Holocaust in World History | SikhNet
Indian historian Professor K.S. Lal estimates that the Hindu population in India decreased by 80 million between 1000 AD and 1525 AD
The 400 million estimate is apparently by Muslim historian Firishta, but he lived in 16th/17th century, so... it appears he bases his number on estimates of India's population - 600 million at time of Muslim invasion, 200 million in mid-1500s. At any rate, both numbers are not just mass slaughters, but also "opportunity cost". Murders - direct and indirect (famine etc.) - could be more than 80/400 million (if natural demographic change had stayed positive during that period) or less than 80/400 million (if it had been pushed into negative by the overall pressure).

Third, these "Muslims" were probably composed of a variety of different polities and different sects, with different policies concerning the treatment of non-Muslims, etc. It's probably that some Muslim polities were responsible for large-scale massacres and wide destruction while others did nothing of that sort.
Possible, even likely, but in any case ideological basis was the same: the idea that life of an unbeliever has less value than that of a Muslim; essentially the same justification Europeans used for their colonialism, except on ideiological instead of racial basis in this case.

And saying all that, which authority in our current times, should be addressed to take responsibility of those supposed Muslim crimes against India? You mean...modern-day Pakistan?
There is no authority to take responsibility. But it should be recognized that Islam, as ideology, had a part to play in it. Problem is partly in the fact that Islam does not have an equivalent of Pope who could take responsibility and apologize, the way popes Francis and Benedict did.
 
Aug 2018
274
America
It was an impression I got from some articles I've read, but these were years ago so I had to pull closest things I found. And at any rate:
Europe won't resolve the 'migrant crisis' until it faces its own past




That article damn sure sounds like it holds entire Europe collectively guilty of colonial practices, seeing how living standard is higher even in Poland or Croatia than it is in, say, Nigeria or Ethiopia - nevermind the fact that Poland and Croatia themselves ended up victims of imperial practices of their stronger neighbours more than once, or that higher standard of living was enabler, not consequence, of Western European colonial adventures.
No, it doesn't. I've already told you that saying "Turkey", for instance, is not holding Turks collectively to blame for the Armenian or Assyrian genocides, for example. Scholars use the term "Cambodian genocide" as well but it's clear this doesn't refer to all Cambodians, only the Khmer Communist regime. So no. It's not remotely holding Europeans to collective guilt. "Europe" doesn't equal "Europeans", so stop with this self-victimhood and persecution complex nonsense. At best, the article is wrong for implying every European state is colonialist, but that is still a completely different matter entirely than holding all Europeans as collectively guilty of colonial crimes when it's obvious only your dishonest misreading of the article leads you to conclude this.


Reduced natality still leads to demographic losses, and is thus essentially murder. And it hardly matters that no single Muslim empire ruled all of India, when Muslim empires (plural) ruled all or at least majority of it.
No, reduced natality is not murder. That is straight up nonsense. Reduced natality simply means the projection of people that is going to born has fallen. I mean, by this logic, reducing birth rates as a policy is genocide which is utterly stupid. No one counts the number of babies that would have been born had it not been for the World Wars, for example. And you still ignore the fact that no Muslim empire had the same industrial technological base as the British or tried to achieve it through mass exploitation, even if there were Muslim states ruling over the majority of India at about the same time, so they would be incapable of the kind of mass ravaging the British inflicted, as all Muslim states remained with the same agrarian-based feudal economy.

Also, to put an end to this nonsense of Muslim mass killing, the Muslims should have depopulated North Africa and the Middle East in their initial conquests. at a time when the combined population of the MENA region was about 50 or 60 million, according to the illogical nonsense of Indian sectarian fascists because they literally swept over them far faster and in less than a century than the very slow and gradual intrusion of Muslims into the Indian subcontinent, except of course the MENA region wasn't depopulated when the Rashidun and Umayyads conquered it. Simply put, Muslim warfare in India was no different and was no more brutal than Muslim warfare elsewhere.