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
422
Croatia
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.
You are the one misreading things, I think. "Cambodian genocide" is a geographic label, as in "genocide that had happened in Cambodia". And you have completely ignored citations I had provided, which outright state that living standard in Europe (with no indication of differentiating between Western European colonial nations and rest of Europe) is a consequence of European imperialism.

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.
Reduced natality is still demographic loss. And yes, reducing birth rates below replacement rate can be taken as a policy of genocide, unless there is a damn good reason for it (that is, overpopulation).

Again, casualties of Islam - that 270 million number - had accumulated over a thousand years or so. That is cca 40 generations, meaning that it would require killing around 13,5% of each generation, even had each generation been only around 50 million people, and also completely ignoring anything outside MENA region (e.g. India, Indonesia, Central Asia, Southern and Southeastern Europe) which would have significantly increased population being considered. You are assuming that casualties would have happened only during initial conquests, which is fundamentally incorrect - in fact, it is entirely possible that initial conquests were relatively bloodless compared to what came after (sectarian violence, slavery etc.).
 
Aug 2018
274
America
You are the one misreading things, I think. "Cambodian genocide" is a geographic label, as in "genocide that had happened in Cambodia". And you have completely ignored citations I had provided, which outright state that living standard in Europe (with no indication of differentiating between Western European colonial nations and rest of Europe) is a consequence of European imperialism.
"Europe" is also a geographic designation. And that it states that living standards in Europe are a direct consequence of colonialism has nothing to do with blaming Europeans collectively. The article doesn't fault the average European for having a better life than other people in the world. It faults European states, not people, for forgetting this fact.




Reduced natality is still demographic loss. And yes, reducing birth rates below replacement rate can be taken as a policy of genocide, unless there is a damn good reason for it (that is, overpopulation).

Again, casualties of Islam - that 270 million number - had accumulated over a thousand years or so. That is cca 40 generations, meaning that it would require killing around 13,5% of each generation, even had each generation been only around 50 million people, and also completely ignoring anything outside MENA region (e.g. India, Indonesia, Central Asia, Southern and Southeastern Europe) which would have significantly increased population being considered. You are assuming that casualties would have happened only during initial conquests, which is fundamentally incorrect - in fact, it is entirely possible that initial conquests were relatively bloodless compared to what came after (sectarian violence, slavery etc.).
Holy Mother of God, for the last time, they're not deaths. The kind of demographic loss you talk about doesn't mean you literally killed that many people, only that number of people wasn't born. And of course controlling population with violent means is genocide, but I obviously did not mean that. I mean such things like family planning and economic incentives to reduce the number of pregnancies. Now certainly Muslim empires that massacred Hindus didn't do that, but that still doesn't mean they killed all that people. If for instance a Muslim empire waged a war that killed 1 million people and that led to a fall in natality that prevents a projected increase to 3 million, that still doesn't mean the Muslims killed a further 3 million. They simply prevented 3 million people from being born which is completely different, regardless if they did it violently.

And you're inconsistent. You are changing numbers because these are the numbers you originally cited: "then Muslims could have killed 400 million in 600 years". You're being dishonest now, thinking I wouldn't notice. And yes, those numbers can include subsequent violence, but again, Muslim practices in India were no more violent than anywhere else in the Islamic world. Slavery preceded Islam in India to begin with and Muslims also enslaved people outside of India, while sectarian violence is something Muslims also practised against Christians and pagans in the MENA and Sahelian territories they ruled to the same extent. The idea that Muslims were particularly violent with Hindus is a claim that British colonialists developed and that Hindutva fascists and other anti-Muslim Indian sectarian bigots (and even racists given their obsession with "Aryans") seized on. Indeed, the British presented themselves (ridiculously) as the liberators of Hindus from Muslim tyranny and then went on to explain the animosity between Hindus and Muslims in racist terms by saying the former were Nordic Aryans (originally at least) and the latter were Asiatic "Semites" (with Turkish "Mongoloid" blood as well).
 

robto

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,173
Lisbon, Portugal
As far as I'm aware, 600 years is the timespan of significant Muslim political presence in India.
That's still a completely made up chronology since in 600 years of India' s history there was wide oscillations when it comes to demographics. Not every Muslim rule was the same, neither the consequences of that rule was the same in a 600 years span.

Check your sources, please. You don't want me to take that kind information seriously when your information stems from a religious-charged proselytizing website about Sikhism. Please, provide peer review papers or academic books. That's analogous to me using an Islamic advocating website to support the "theory" of the crusader "genocide" in the Medieval Palestine.

Even on that website, they choose really bad "scholars" to support their views. They mentioned Koenraad Elst , which was always a political pundit, first supporting Flemish nationalism, and later being an activist of Hindu nationalism - he's even a very strong supporter of the flawed theory that Indo-European languages came out of India! The other author they mentioned is François Gautier, a journalist and prominent advocate of the "Out-of-India" bogus theory and Hindu nationalist advocate. Will Durant, although an important historian, was not exactly an expert on Indian studies - he only mentions the history of India on his compilation work about the history of civilization. Irfan Husain is a columnist, not an academic.

The only reputable academic and expert on Indology mentioned on the website is K. S. Lal, in which he claims that between 1000 A.D. and 1500 A.D., the population of the Indian subcontinent decreased from 200 to 170 million - 80 million lost (K. S. Lal, 1978). He stated that his estimates were tentative and did not claim any finality. His claims were also many times contested by other academics, like Simon Digby (1975) and Irfan Habib (1978).

This is not a settled issue and there is no academic consensus about the precise number of the people killed in India because of the Islamic conquests. Certainly the initial conquests of many Islamic kingdoms in the subcontinent was indeed catastrophic and genocidal on many aspects, specially before 1500 A.D., but there is no certainty of that number, and the assumption that the entire period of Muslim rule was a demographic catastrophe is absurd. They were many Muslim polities that behaved differently in India.

This is a very contested and politicized issue in India, and abroad. Many views that you'll find around the internet is coming from Hindu nationalist circles or dishonest intellectuals that perpetuate the "religion of peace" meme. Therefore you should take extra care when it comes to finding sources. That source that you provided me was absurd.

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).
Firishta was not a modern scholar using the scientific method and having the right sources to support his claim. His assertion might provide us a glimpse of the total demographic catastrophe of the early Muslim era in the subcontinent, but don't expect us to take his numbers as facts...

According to Maddison (2001), the period of demographic collapse was more acute during the initial Muslim conquests - the worst in Indian history. After 1000 A.D. - during Delhi sultanate - the population growth increased. Of course without saying that during the same period of growth we also witnessed Islamic/Mongol genocidal campaigns like Timur-lang conquests.
According to the same scholar, and also McEvedy et. al. (1978), Voss et. al. (2010) and John F. Richards (1995), attest that during the Mughal period (a Muslim polity), India's population growth rate was higher than during any previous period in Indian history (about 31.9% growth rate per century), and the rate of famines was one of the lowest in its history. During the Mughal Empire, India also witnessed unprecedented urbanization (higher than in Europe during the same period), high agricultural production and "proto-industrialization" of the economy.

When British control over India begun to be more acute between late 18th century and the 19th century, we witness an increase in the incidence of severe famine, Murton (2000). Population growth during that period dropped by 19%, Maddison (2001). Life expectancy dropped from 35 years of age in Mughal's period (half of the 18th century), to 25 years of age in 1885, Salman, Peerzada (2015).

The British colonial experience in India could have been as catastrophic demographically as the early Muslim conquests and Timur-lang conquests were.

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.
Those are very historically simplified statements. Of course, in theory, Muslim polities always treated non-Muslim as "second-class citizens", but if you take a good analysis on the structures and practices of many different Muslim rulers in India throughout 700 years of its history you see large variation when it comes to this issue. Some rulers or polities were very active in oppressing non-Muslims, others were very tolerant, while some were even empowering to the Hindu elites.

The same thing about European colonial powers: not all of them were functioning under a very oppressive racial ideology. Even in the British Empire, British Hong Kong was managed in a different manner than the British Raj - and you clearly see the nostalgia some contemporary Hong Kongers have for British rule when compared to contemporary Indians...

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.
So this entire discussion is nonsensical. This OP is about modern states to take responsibility for their past oppression, not because of historical grievances only, but also because the legacy of that oppression still impacts modern-day societies.
British oppression of India a century ago impacts more of modern-day India than the early Muslim conquests almost a millennia ago. So, of course it makes sense for India to demand more apologies, and possibly reparations, to Britain rather to some Muslim authority that it doesn't even exist in the first place.

Britain still exists as a polity, it's still the same state as it was during the height of the British Raj empire, therefore demanding Britain to apologize for it seems totally legitimate. No Muslim polity that made the worst crimes in India during medieval times exists today. But of course, the genocidal campaigns of those early Muslim conquerors should be known around the wider public and more academic inquiry should be provided about this subject - we need more awareness about this event but, unfortunately, the voices demanding for that are usually far-right political groups, instead of unbiased academics, and some dishonest academics are avoiding even debating about this.
 
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Oct 2011
422
Croatia
Holy Mother of God, for the last time, they're not deaths. The kind of demographic loss you talk about doesn't mean you literally killed that many people, only that number of people wasn't born. And of course controlling population with violent means is genocide, but I obviously did not mean that. I mean such things like family planning and economic incentives to reduce the number of pregnancies. Now certainly Muslim empires that massacred Hindus didn't do that, but that still doesn't mean they killed all that people. If for instance a Muslim empire waged a war that killed 1 million people and that led to a fall in natality that prevents a projected increase to 3 million, that still doesn't mean the Muslims killed a further 3 million. They simply prevented 3 million people from being born which is completely different, regardless if they did it violently.
Doesn't matter how it happens, what matters is the outcome. If a population ends up destroyed or significantly reduced by measures, then it is genocide, doesn't matter how. Or you think that e.g. British mismanagement which led to millions of deaths due to hunger in India, or Western European destruction of Native American populations - which btw. was largely accidental (hello mr. Virus) - should be ignored because they were (largely, though not completely) not violent?

And you're inconsistent. You are changing numbers because these are the numbers you originally cited: "then Muslims could have killed 400 million in 600 years". You're being dishonest now, thinking I wouldn't notice. And yes, those numbers can include subsequent violence, but again, Muslim practices in India were no more violent than anywhere else in the Islamic world. Slavery preceded Islam in India to begin with and Muslims also enslaved people outside of India, while sectarian violence is something Muslims also practised against Christians and pagans in the MENA and Sahelian territories they ruled to the same extent. The idea that Muslims were particularly violent with Hindus is a claim that British colonialists developed and that Hindutva fascists and other anti-Muslim Indian sectarian bigots (and even racists given their obsession with "Aryans") seized on. Indeed, the British presented themselves (ridiculously) as the liberators of Hindus from Muslim tyranny and then went on to explain the animosity between Hindus and Muslims in racist terms by saying the former were Nordic Aryans (originally at least) and the latter were Asiatic "Semites" (with Turkish "Mongoloid" blood as well).
I still maintain that 400 million is not impossible, I just acknowledged that the source is not reliable (a 17th century historian). If you had actually read my posts you would have noticed that.

I am aware that Muslims were not particularly violent with Hindus. They were equally violent with all non-Muslims, because Islam sees Muslims as being inherently superior to non-Muslims. In other words, the mentality same as that of European colonial conquerors. But the fact remains that they were violent with all of them, unless conquered people accepted inferior status in the new order.
 

robto

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,173
Lisbon, Portugal
I am aware that Muslims were not particularly violent with Hindus. They were equally violent with all non-Muslims, because Islam sees Muslims as being inherently superior to non-Muslims. In other words, the mentality same as that of European colonial conquerors. But the fact remains that they were violent with all of them, unless conquered people accepted inferior status in the new order.
I disagree with this point.

Muslim rulers in India throughout 600 year of Muslim rule didn't treat their Hindu subjects in the same manner or with the same kind of oppressive policies, but when some instances of Muslim violent prosecution of Hindus indeed happened, it was with a kind ferocity and mass murder that was unparalleled in other ways Muslims interacted with other faiths.

Reasons for that vary: Muslim rulers during the Middle Ages for the most part had either Christian, Jews or Zoroastrians as visible non-Muslim minorities. Those three communities under Islamic tradition were never fully viewed as pagan, but neither were considered equals. Hindus for the most part were viewed as heathen devil-worshipers since their religious practices were not of Abrahamic origin and neither they were strictly monotheistic.
Other reason is the fact that Hindu kingdoms were more advanced than small pagan agrarian tribes Muslims had found in other parts of Asia. Hindu religious elites were a fundamental element of those highly advanced Indian societies and Muslims in order to subjugate those kingdoms had to be exceptionally ferocious in dealing with them.
The final factor is because many Muslim rulers were Turkic and Mongol in origin - those cultures, even before converting to Islam, had a tradition of resorting to genocidal campaigns to conquer advanced and urbanized kingdoms.
 
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Aug 2018
274
America
Doesn't matter how it happens, what matters is the outcome. If a population ends up destroyed or significantly reduced by measures, then it is genocide, doesn't matter how. Or you think that e.g. British mismanagement which led to millions of deaths due to hunger in India, or Western European destruction of Native American populations - which btw. was largely accidental (hello mr. Virus) - should be ignored because they were (largely, though not completely) not violent?
You're changing what you're saying and not making sense. You claim that reduced natality is genocide, but now you're changing that to depopulation. You don't even understand yourself. Read slowly with me: Depopulation is completely different than reduced natality. Muslim pre-colonial rule in India did not lead to any massive depopulation which is what we've been discussing. Then you bring up "reduced natality" but again, and I want you to read slowly, that is not massive depopulation, it's just a reduced birth rate. Even whatever reduction of number of Hindus occurred is due to conversion, not mass genocide. Muslims certainly could have killed millions in some extreme instances (that I would agree can be characterised as genocide) where they applied scorched earth tactics, mass deportations and mass enslavement or serfdom, but these instances are rare and we see comparable violence done by Hindus (with the extreme instances that can also be termed genocide, because Hindus were no less violent and were just as expansionistic, this being the reason why India is so massive) which Hindutva fascists don't argue caused any mass depopulation and indeed could not have caused any mass depopulation. So really, stop talking nonsense and stop talking about things you clearly have no understanding of.




I still maintain that 400 million is not impossible, I just acknowledged that the source is not reliable (a 17th century historian). If you had actually read my posts you would have noticed that.
It doesn't matter what you maintain, fact is it's impossible that even in a period of 1,000 years Muslims killed 400 million people in India. I've already told you why and I don't need to repeat myself. You're arguing for the preposterous idea that they were killing a whole Roman Empire worth of population every century, when even the brutal Mongol conquests that lasted for about a century barely passed the 10 million mark with a much bigger population pool and wider area.

I am aware that Muslims were not particularly violent with Hindus. They were equally violent with all non-Muslims, because Islam sees Muslims as being inherently superior to non-Muslims. In other words, the mentality same as that of European colonial conquerors. But the fact remains that they were violent with all of them, unless conquered people accepted inferior status in the new order.
All religions see other religions as being inferior (love how Hindutva fascists with their neo-Nazi colonial ideology project their own sense of superiority to the Muslims they want to downright exterminate), yet this still is nothing comparable to European colonial ideology, which is based on racial superiority, an idea that is completely different and far worse than religious superiority. I wouldn't even say that Christianity, which also regards Christians as superior, can be compared to European colonial racism which is the ideology of mass subjugation and genocide that killed millions all over the world.
 
Oct 2016
139
Ashland
Perhaps everyone will be better served if the Losers quit crying and the Winners quit crowing and we all just get on with it.
Certainly we don't want to forget the Past ('Those who do not learn from the lessons of History are doomed to repeat it next Quarter'), but it seems to me more appropriate to assimilate the lessons of old wars, Crusades, Jihads and other disasters than to remain emotionally chained to them. Good examples are the constant recriminations over Slavery, Nazi pogroms, Euro colonization and neo-Colonization, ...
My own family, for instance, never owned a slave, tilled their meager acreage themselves, fought in and lost the Civil War and then suffered through the absurdities, privations and cruelties of Reconstruction: so what? Those were incidents from which to learn, not whine about forever in a manner reminiscent of the deadlocked talk-shop that passes for a Parliament.
If only there were some Sovereign to appeal to for Suspension of the Crybaby's Congress, aka Nursery! :crying:
Just kidding, of course: I suspect that even more taxing than the incessant bitching would be the existence of any sort of Supreme Ruler or Being.
 
Aug 2014
1,273
pakistan
I disagree with this point.

Muslim rulers in India throughout 600 year of Muslim rule didn't treat their Hindu subjects in the same manner or with the same kind of oppressive policies, but when some instances of Muslim violent prosecution of Hindus indeed happened, it was with a kind ferocity and mass murder that was unparalleled in other ways Muslims interacted with other faiths.
Any example?. Point out an episode of Indo-Muslim history in which peaceful and cooperating Hindu subjects were wiped out by their Muslim rulers just for being Hindus. Exclude the episodes of rebellions, and episodes of conquering campaigns against neighboring Hindu kingdoms in which civilians were bound to die.


Reasons for that vary: Muslim rulers during the Middle Ages for the most part had either Christian, Jews or Zoroastrians as visible non-Muslim minorities. Those three communities under Islamic tradition were never fully viewed as pagan, but neither were considered equals. Hindus for the most part were viewed as heathen devil-worshipers since their religious practices were not of Abrahamic origin and neither they were strictly monotheistic.
The dhimmi status was also extended to Hindus and Buddhists. They had same status as Jews and Christians. Thats why Muslim rulers of India imposed Jiziya on Hindus.


Other reason is the fact that Hindu kingdoms were more advanced than small pagan agrarian tribes Muslims had found in other parts of Asia. Hindu religious elites were a fundamental element of those highly advanced Indian societies and Muslims in order to subjugate those kingdoms had to be exceptionally ferocious in dealing with them.
This is not true. The settled docile agrarian population of India was easy to conquer (with exception of Rajputs). The toughest foes early Muslims faced, were Turks of Central Asia. Because Rajputs among Hindus fought hard and inflicted great losses on Muslims, they suffered violent repercussions for that at the hands of Turkish Muslims. But this has been universal attitude of humans, and has nothing to do with Islamic view of Hinduism.
 
Oct 2011
422
Croatia
You're changing what you're saying and not making sense. You claim that reduced natality is genocide, but now you're changing that to depopulation. You don't even understand yourself. Read slowly with me: Depopulation is completely different than reduced natality. Muslim pre-colonial rule in India did not lead to any massive depopulation which is what we've been discussing. Then you bring up "reduced natality" but again, and I want you to read slowly, that is not massive depopulation, it's just a reduced birth rate. Even whatever reduction of number of Hindus occurred is due to conversion, not mass genocide. Muslims certainly could have killed millions in some extreme instances (that I would agree can be characterised as genocide) where they applied scorched earth tactics, mass deportations and mass enslavement or serfdom, but these instances are rare and we see comparable violence done by Hindus (with the extreme instances that can also be termed genocide, because Hindus were no less violent and were just as expansionistic, this being the reason why India is so massive) which Hindutva fascists don't argue caused any mass depopulation and indeed could not have caused any mass depopulation. So really, stop talking nonsense and stop talking about things you clearly have no understanding of.
I understand myself perfectly fine, but I am starting to think you do not understand either of us. Reduced natality is one of possible causes of depopulation - I have changed nothing, just expanded it. And demographic loss of 80 million people is significant depopulation, no matter how you cut it.

All religions see other religions as being inferior (love how Hindutva fascists with their neo-Nazi colonial ideology project their own sense of superiority to the Muslims they want to downright exterminate), yet this still is nothing comparable to European colonial ideology, which is based on racial superiority, an idea that is completely different and far worse than religious superiority. I wouldn't even say that Christianity, which also regards Christians as superior, can be compared to European colonial racism which is the ideology of mass subjugation and genocide that killed millions all over the world.
There is difference between merely seeing one's own group as superior, and attempting to physically impose that superiority. Fact that Europeans saw themselves as superior to e.g. Africans need not have led to anything bad, if they hadn't gone around imposing it. Yet Islam makes it a duty of Muslims to impose their superiority, and is thus not really different to Fascism or any other similar ideology.