In a series of fascinating interviews with the New York Times, somebody says:
And I’d say, well, you know, if it was really about healing, why isn’t it a shrine dedicated to the victims of 9/11 or the 270 million victims of over a millennium of jihadi wars, land appropriations, cultural annihilations and enslavements?
That is to say, over 1,000 years of "jihadi wars" and so on and so forth, jihadis (Muslims?) have allegedly killed 270 million people. This is an amazing claim, and never mind parsing whether jihadi means Muslim, which for this person, according to her own interview, does and does not. It is at the end of it all inaccurate, because it is inconceivable.
That is to say, jihadi wars over 1,000 years plus killed, according to this unnamed person, more people than lived in China and India in the year 1600. When Islam emerged into the world, total human population was likely around 3-400 million, and had probably risen to only double that by 1500.
Considering for example that Muslim dynasties ruled over India, or much of it, from 1200 to 1800, and yet India continued to be one of the most populous territories in the world, this is an astonishing statement. Who were all these people jihadis allegedly killed? At the time Columbus arrived in America, it is unlikely the continents had more than 100 million people. Many other territories conquered, ruled or otherwise dominated by Muslims, such as Central Asia, North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula were comparatively empty.
Muslim dynasties never touched the Americas, Australia, or East Asia; the latter of these probably held a significant percentage of the world's population throughout the last 1,000 years plus.
Is it conceivable, at all, that Muslim empires, such as the Ottomans and Mughals, who ruled over majority non-Muslim populations, could have contributed to the killing of huge percentages of the world's population while staying in power for centuries? How would they, as minorities, have been capable of sustained carnage for decades at a time? When did they get the time to build huge public works projects, establish towns, rebuild cities, fund wells, hospitals, mosques, pools and fountains?
Now, granted, we are talking of a period of 1,000 years, but the bloodiest world conflicts by capacity and technology took place in the 20th century, and the total killed in the world's most murderous conflict, World War II, was 60 million. When the first Mughal emperor Babur conquered north India -- from another Muslim dynasty, I might add -- his army was estimated to number around 10,000; his opponent, of the Lodhi dynasty, was estimated to have several times that number. These were huge numbers for the time, and are hotly debated. If, by the end of the politically dominant era of Muslim empires, the world's population was roughly 1 billion, how did the world manage to sustain those numbers when millions were allegedly being killed by jihadis, directly and indirectly?
Consider, for example, that roughly 1 in 10 Germans of the pre-World War II population was killed by the end of World War II. That was a six-year period of sustained, mechanized and vicious warfare, which would apparently have had to be the norm across huge swaths of the planet for decades -- and somehow nobody could put an end to this, but people nevertheless had, in the absence of vaccinations and modern medicine, enough healthy babies to continue producing growing populations. Somehow, during the period of 1500-1800, India was among the dominant regions of the world, in terms of proportion of world trade, and irrigation, settlement, cultivation and town-building increased.
I have no idea where these numbers come from, but I can guarantee you they were made up. Just like that. Who, after all, is checking? What methodology was used? How can we even know, considering that, before the 19th century, almost no country in the world held censuses -- and those that were held were usually subsets for tax purposes, and likely extremely speculative.
And, if jihadis had killed 270 million people, what about the people killed by other people -- or, the biggest killer of all back then -- disease and its most vulnerable victims, infants, whose mortality rates were likely well over 20-30%? What about the Crusades, the Huns, the Romans, the Aztecs and Incas, the Goths, the Mongols (hello, Genghis Khan), the Vikings, the pre-Islamic Persians and Byzantines, the Slavs, the Chinese and Japanese? Add them all together, and more people were probably killed than ever lived, which is about as accurate as you can expect this kind of blathering to be.