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Published in the 1-15 Aug 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition


Alarming mortality in the Muslim world

Everyone needs to be made aware of horrendous mortality in the Muslim world. A senior biological scientist, I have been carefully researching global mortality throughout history. 

In one approach, I have estimated "excess mortality" for all countries using UN data, "excess mortality" being the difference between actual deaths in a country and deaths expected in a decently-run, peaceful country with the same demographics.

The results are startling and horrifying. Thus the "excess mortality" in preponderantly Muslim countries PLUS the Muslim proportional component of the "excess mortality" of other significantly Muslim countries totals about 550 million for the period 1950-2004.

This death toll is about one hundred times that of the Jewish Holocaust (6 million victims) and of the "forgotten" World War 2 man-made famine in British-ruled Bengal (4 million Muslim and Hindu victims).

The Muslim Holocaust has many components - thus "excess mortality" has totaled 5.2 million for Iraq since 1950, 1.5 million for Iraq since 1991, 16.2 million for Afghanistan since 1950, 70 million for the Arab Middle East and North Africa since 1950, nearly 150 million in South Asia since 1950 and 340,000 for the Palestinian Occupied Territories since 1967.

The prosperous First World should have been dealing with the Muslim world with honesty, goodwill and assistance rather than with the mix of denial, neglect, hostility, malignant interference and sustained violence that has helped cause this horrendous and continuing Muslim Holocaust.

Of course, ignoring massive human disasters will simply yield more of the same. A humane future will require truth, peace, generosity and reconciliation.

Dr Gideon Polya

29 Dwyer Street, Macleod, 
Melbourne, Victoria 3085, Australia. 
Tel: +61 3 9459 3649;

PS. My credentials: In a 4 decade scientific career I published numerous works including the huge reference text Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds (Taylor & Francis, New York & London, 2003)

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