Body Count – a quantitative review of political violence across world civilizations

by Naveed Sheikh, University of Louisville – published by the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought – Jordan.

This interesting small publication lists all casualties through genocide, wars, civil wars from the year 0 to the year 2008 CE.

The total death-toll is recorded as 578’993’500 (median figures are used) and is distributed among ‘Civilizations’ as follows:

Rank: Civilization Percentage


1 Christian 30.73
2 Anti-Theist 21.64
3 Sinic 18.64
4 Buddhist 15.19
5 Primal-Indigenous 7.87
6 Islamic 5.52
7 Indic 0.41

As ‘Anti-Theist’ are shown the ‘atheists’ like Hitler and Stalin. I would have taken them as ‘coming out of the Christian civilization’. Therefore according to this logic ‘Christian’ would account for a whopping 52.37 %!

(The Chinese communists were also included in ‘Anti-Theist).

It may come as a surprise that the Buddhist civilization is also high on the list. This is mainly due to the Japanese part of that culture.

The Indian civilization is by far the least ‘lethal’ among all the civilizations.

Among the casualties of the Islamic civilization roughly half of them result from the Ottoman empire.

Let us end with the slogan: LOVE FOR ALL AND HATRED FOR NONE…

Please read the full booklet here:

3 replies

  1. This book can be read here

    Data relating to India is partly wrong as This book has been written from the medieval perspective. Data from Indian history(India+Pakistan+Bangladesh+Sri Lanka+Parts of Afghanistan for example nooristan) mainly belongs to prior to this phase.

    Wars like Aryan invasion whose body count is yet unknown. Which is offcourse under constant debate amongst academicians, right wing and far right who all have their different stand on it.

    Ramayan when Hazrat Ram(a.s.) went to Sri Lanka to rescue Hindu saints and his kidnapped wife from the king of Sri lanka. He ultimately killed the devil, but that caused loss of lves too.

    Parashurama, a brahmin(priestly class hindu) who was so against the race of kshatriyas(ruler and warrior class Hindus), that it is said that thirty-six times he killed all the kshatriyas in the world. i.e. he killed all rulers and their generations 36 times. imagine the figure of soldiers, generals and kings.

    Mahabharata, war fought by Hazrat Krishna(a.s.) for restoration of rights of Pandava family. It was said that all of India was involved in this war. it was kind of civil war in the union of India. weapons and technologies used, as we read from accounts of the historical books surpasses any technological or lethal might.

    Though there were lethal wars fought in medieval India too, one of them Kalinga invasion. When emperor Ashoka killed all of inhbitants of Kalinga, now called “Orissa” or “Odisha”. It’s said that this war was fought on the banks of the river “dayanadi” and color of its water turned red, as civilians of Kalinga prefered death over slavery. Now Orissa has the majority of Ahmadiyya population in India in terms of numbers.

    This is a broad detail of facts from Indian perspective.

    I will partly agree with regards to the Indian counts, because Indians(Both ancient and modern) never invaded any other country outside their political borders.

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