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Population, Conquest and Terror in the 21st Century
By Gunnar Heinsohn (August 2005)

Beginning around the year 1500, Europe experienced a population explosion
— with total fertility rates up to the beginning of the 20th century as experienced
today in Gaza or Niger — that quickly led to world domination. Today, Moslem
countries are undergoing a similar growth in population that could well have similar
results.
Throughout the 1400s, a Europe that had been reduced from 80 to 50 million
people by devastating outbreaks of bubonic plague found its borders under constant
pressure from conquering Moslem armies. In 1456, Constantinople fell. In 1492,
Columbus sailed west seeking new paths to the orient. The old trading routes had
fallen under Moslem control. By 1500 the Christian nations of Europe were locked
in a desperate struggle for survival.
Suddenly everything changed. Europe’s population began to grow
exponentially. Numerous explanations have been offered for this stunning increase.
Some experts cite the arrival of new foods, such as the potato and maize. Others
point to economic expansion and lower mortality rates. My own research has shown
that after 1484, when Pope Innocent VIII decreed the death penalty for those who
practiced birth control, European women began to have an average of six or seven
children each, compared with two or three in earlier times.
Because a father’s land went to his oldest son, Europe’s “population bulge”
produced large numbers of young men who had no secure place in society. In the

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1500s many of these young men became soldiers, providing ample manpower for the
European armies that turned the tide of battle against Islam.
But Europe’s rapid growth in population also placed severe strains on land and
the economy. There was only one place for huge numbers of excess people to go.
Europe’s teachers and priests preach imperialism. Thanks to a private property-based
economy and advanced military weapons, European control of the globe became
child’s play. Throughout the world, European explorers were followed by European
conquerors and settlers. Spain had a name for its youthful conquistadors. They were
known as Secundones1, second sons and those who followed. With so many young
men seeking a place in the world, Europe — like a never-ending Mongol horde —
conquered nine-tenths of the Earth. When there was nothing left to conquer,
European nations began to fight for each other’s colonies.
Right up to the end of the first World War, Europe continuously produced
large numbers of “fighting-age males” – i.e. between 15 and 29, the prime age for
military service. In 1500, among every 1,000 men in that age bracket worldwide,
about 100 came from Europe. In 1914, among every 1,000 young men worldwide,
350 were either born in Europe or European in origin.
However, after Europe suffered 10 million dead in World War I, things went
downhill fast. During World War II, Japan, Italy, and Germany became the last great
powers that tried to take land and colonies away from others. In the years following
that war, Europe’s aging population lost every war it fought against young men from
emerging countries. Today, the “white” population level has fallen back to where it
was in 1500. Only 120 of every 1,000 “fighting-age males” worldwide are “whites”.2
And most of these young “whites” are either only sons or only children. With fewer
”fighting-age males” available for military service, and with each loss on the
1

Romano, R., Tenenti, A. (1967), Die Grundlegung der modernen Welt: Spaetmittelalter, Renaissance, Reformation,
Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, p. 208

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battlefield reported in painful detail in the press, it is no surprise that today’s
professors and social activists preach pacifism and anti-authoritarian beliefs.
On May 9, 2005, “Newsweek” reported that supervisors at the Guantanamo
detention camp were supposed to have put copies of the Koran into the latrines. In
the violent mass demonstrations that followed in Islamic countries, 15 people were
killed. The battlefields in Afghanistan and Iraq saw new waves of attacks by Islamic
militants. Even the streets of London ran red with blood.
It wasn’t only European pacifists who blamed an American “desecration of the
Koran” for these terror attacks. President Bush seemed to agree. On May 20 he sent
his wife Laura on a goodwill tour to the Palestinians and the pyramids. Mrs. Bush
reassures everyone that America must not be identified with misdemeanors against
the verses of Allah, but only wants to bring democracy to Muslim countries.
But I can’t help but wonder: does President Bush know what’s really
happening here? Or does he agree with those who naively believe that the kings of
the Aztec and Inca empires could have saved themselves by venerating the Bible and
converting to Christianity?
On November 16, 1532, a Spanish priest named Father Valverde handed a
copy of the Holy Bible to Atahualpa, ruler of the Incas. An interpreter explained to
the God King that the voice of the only true God spoke from this book. Refusing to
convert immediately to the Catholic faith would mean a commencement of hostilities
with the Imperial House of Hapsburg.
Atahualpa took the sacred volume and listened to it carefully. When the pages
remained mute, the Inca threw the Bible into the dust. Instantly, a special unit from
the Spanish army seized Atahualpa and dragged him away. The other Spaniards
opened fire. The hail of bullets killed 6,000 Indian nobles and royal bodyguards, a
2

Heinsohn, G. (2005), “Global Distribution of Fighting Age Males (15-29 years) between 1492 and 2020”, table

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massacre so atrocious that 50,000 Inca warriors fled in panic. The 180 Europeans did
not lose a single man. For his desecration of the Bible, Atahualpa is condemned to
death by burning. His last-minute conversion, however, brought an act of mercy. He
was strangled instead.
Due to this abominable desecration of the Bible, the Spanish king is told, the
Inca Empire was to be subjugated and its heathen civilization is destroyed. A fifth of
the Inca gold will, of course, go to the crown.
All of Europe understood that a less violent punishment for this act of
desecration would not have been acceptable. But it soon became clear that a defense
of Christianity was not the cause — or even the primary cause — that incited young
Secundones to undertake such slaughter. Even if Atahualpa had immediately
converted, the Conquistadores would have found a different justification for his
elimination. The Spaniards would not have calmly and happily sailed back home to
Cadiz. Yes, they threw themselves to the floor and called on the Virgin Mary to
assist them before they set to work. And after each victory they praised the lord. But
in their war cry -- “Gold, fame, and gospel” – we see their real motives on display.
Religion takes third place.
However, in troubled times religions are very useful. Whether conquistadores
or Islamic radicals, young men do not want to come to power as ordinary murderers
or suicidal psychopaths. In order to become honorable executioners, they search for
a lofty standpoint from which the killing appears to be the last bloodshed before
salvation. Therefore Europeans become Christianists and Muslims, Islamists.
This urge to cloak bloodshed in respectability and honor was neatly expressed
by a 25 year old Pakistani from Manchester, England, named Hassan Butt. A
recruiter of British Muslims for the war against the West in Afghanistan, he was
prepared for a lecture given at Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Munich-Pullach, June 21, 2005

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interviewed by Aatish Taseer for the August 2005-issue of Prospect: “Even before I
was a practising Muslim, I was very hot-headed. That hot-headedness was leading us
down a path of destruction. A lot of the people I grew up among were on drugs, were
involved in crime, prostitution, at very young ages. I remember when I came across
the first Muslim who talked to me about Islam in a language I understood. He pointed
out that I had a lot of anger and frustration that I should direct in a more productive
manner. It was from there that I got discussing Islam seriously—even though we
were hotheads, me and my brothers always had brains, we weren'
t thugs. We were
still excelling in our studies and getting top grades in our exams.“ 3
The cruelties of terrorism are not caused by pious books, or by those who
might abuse those books. They are caused by people who don’t want to appear as
common killers. They are the ones who feel the urge to dust off the sacred texts.
Therefore, the rage of young Islamic males cannot be assuaged with explanations of
the “actual” or “really intended” contents of the archaic volumes. The unceasing
flood of articles about the evil influence of radical Islamic teachers simply reverses
cause and effect. Where at first there are no suitable masses, even agitators of genius
achieve practically nothing. And even where it can be shown that Islamic schools
manage without terrorism in their curriculum, this does not prevent their graduates
from fighting for a new Caliphate.
After 55 people died in London on July 7, the bloodshed was frequently
explained by the poverty of the Pakistanis. Moreover, Pakistan’s national “birth
defect”4 — a failure, in 1947, to separate religion and state — is said to suddenly
have disastrous effects. Nobody mentions Pakistan’s birth rate with an uninterrupted
youth bulge since 1945. The public is not told that Pakistan’s population increased

3

Prospect (2005), No. 113, August

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Year
1930
1940
1950
1960

Pakistan’s population in millions5
23
27
39
50

Children in a
woman’s lifetime6
6.18
6.28

1970

66

6.28

350

1980

85

6.28

630

1990
2000
2005

115
146
163

6.08
5.48
4.14

1360
1910
2200

1947/1965: Kashmir wars against India; millions of dead

Purchasing power
parity per capita ($)7

1971: Genocide against separatist Bangladesh (own youth bulge); millions of dead
Late 1980s ff.: Mutual killings of Shiites and Sunni; thousands of dead

sevenfold in only 75 years. Nor is it told about the six-fold increase in Pakistan’s per
capita income in just 35 years, which does not seem to point to hunger and
impoverishment. As with most emigrants, a majority of Pakistani emigrants keep
quiet during the first generation out of sheer gratitude for their survival. But even
abroad — e.g. in Canada or in Great Britain — their families have an average of four
children, therefore producing three times as many offspring as, for example, the
Germans (1.3). If their sons, through renewed emigration or even return to the
homeland, do not achieve what they think they are capable of, their radicalization
happens very fast. Yet nearly everywhere it is said that London was attacked because
of Blair’s participation in Bush’s Iraq War. This is the justification used not only by
the backpack bombers themselves but also by many learned observers.
But was Atahualpa attacked by Conquistadores because he sympathized with
Montezuma?
Today, the Islamic equivalent of the Spanish Secondones are making their
mark on the world. Between 1955 and 2005, Iraq’s population increased from five
4

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, July 14, 2005, p. 3.
Lahmeyer, J. (2005), “Pakistan: Historical Demographical Data of the Whole Country”,
(website populstat)
5

6
7

Globalis (2005), “Pakistan: Total fertility rate“, Globalis (website)
Globalis (2005), “Pakistan: GDP per capita“, Globalis (website)

Population Statistics

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million to 25 million, even while expending a million people in wars and genocides.
In Iraq, only the oldest brothers can find productive work. The Secondones apply to
the police and the army. But there are any number of third and fourth sons who, for
the eternal glory of Islam, will blow themselves up outside the recruiting offices. The
2,000 deaths that have occurred over the last eighteen months fill the media day after
day. But nobody reports on the 550,000 young Iraqi men who have reached fighting
age over the same period.
The Islamic “youth bulge” is truly enormous. Of 15 the million male
Afghanis, seven million are below age 15. Every year, 350,000 Afghans reach
fighting age. In 2010, that number will reach half a million. 8 Almost all of these
young men want to prove themselves in the traditional warrior spirit of their
homeland. Since 1945, every Afghan father who has given up fighting has left his
unfinished work to three or four sons. Since 1945 the population of Afghanistan has
jumped from 8 to 30 million, even while two million were dying violent deaths and
two million more were fleeing the country. Not even one of those sons can find a
legal job, i.e. in opium-free agriculture or within the army and police units financed
with western money. But all these aid measures provide better food, education, and
medical care than ever.
No combination could be more explosive. Peace activists promise that the
victory over hunger will also bring victory over war. Youth bulge analysis, however,
shows again and again that when hunger ends, the killing starts in earnest. Why?
Because humanitarian measures have made millions of sons stronger and better
educated. For bread, people beg; for positions in society, they fight.
From Morocco to Indonesia, the rage that we often find in young men is
increased by their demographic surplus, by economic under-employment, and by
sexual frustration. Those who succeed in emigrating -- which means colonizing
8

U.S. Census Bureau (2005), “IDB Summary Demographic Data: Afghanistan”, IDB (website)

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without bloodshed -- but who fail to succeed abroad, are potential recruits for terrorist
activities. Some of those who stay home expend their energy by joining criminal
gangs. For all others who want to get ahead, the only choices are insurrection, civil
war, genocide, or wars of conquest, i.e. bloody colonization. Already Thomas
Hobbes — who presented his Leviathan in the middle of a population explosion and
civil war (1651) — knew that war can provide every man with either victory or a
hero’s death. 9
Today, Pakistan has more than 28 million men between 15 and 29 years of age.
Right behind them are 33 million boys under 15. 10 With an overall population of 300
million, the USA only has 31 million boys under 1511, of whom 25 percent are obese.
It is possible that Pakistan may try a different religious policy. It is also possible that
the West will be more respectful in its utterances about the Koran. However, this
would not change anything about those population figures. As we have seen, the
Secundones of Spain were not the fault of the Aztecs and Incas. These great empires
could not have known about the “youth bulge” in European demographics.
Today, such ignorance can not be excused. Between 1900 and 2005, Islam
exploded from 140 million to 1.4 billion people. Their share of the world’s
population jumped from nine to 23 percent. In 2020, of the one billion men between
15 and 29 worldwide, there will only be 90 million Europeans and North Americans
(in the US alone, 24 million non-obese). But there will be 300 million “fighting-age”
Muslims. 12 With advanced technology at their disposal, they would have the
potential to be a world power; but even without it, they can shake the world.

9

Hobbes, Th. (1651), Leviathan, Menston: Scolar Press, 1969 (facsimile edition), XXX, § 17
U.S. Census Bureau (2005), “IDB Summary Demographic Data: Pakistan”, IDB (website)
11
U.S. Census Bureau (2005), “IDB Summary Demographic Data: United States”, IDB (website)
12
Heinsohn, G. (2005), “ Global Distribution of Fighting Age Males (15-29 years) between 1492 and 2020”, table
prepared for talk at Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Munich-Pullach, June 21, 2005
10

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Can anything be done to placate the anger of these 300 million? Can we
somehow ingratiate ourselves in a way that renders this numerical relationship
ineffectual? Perhaps by sacrificing Israel?
It’s not only the King of Jordan, Jacques Chirac and most western reporters
who believe that the Jews in their mini-State — which is less than one-thousandth of
the world’s population — could help stop terror with better behavior. Even Tony
Blair occasionally subscribes to this opinion. Many Israelis, too, believe that Sharon
doesn’t go far enough in his peace efforts. They are surprised that despite the Israeli
withdrawal from Gaza and the start of democracy in Ramallah attacks on Jews are
increasing again.
At present, Palestinians have in Israel and in the territories 650,000 men
between 15 and 29; Israeli Jews, around 600,000. Among 30-44 year-olds there is,
for the last time, a majority of around 500,000 Jewish men against 315,000 Arabs.
But in the group of under 15-year-olds, there are 1.2 million Arabic boys who are
getting ready for a decisive battle against 600,000 Jewish boys. 13 Never has the
Palestinian numerical superiority been larger. Their boys are the fittest in all of
Islam, because the world community pays for their school books, school meals, and
medical care. The only thing it cannot provide the young people with are careers. So
why should Jews be expected to do so?
Nevertheless, London’s Mayor Ken Livingstone declared on July 19 that the
attacks on underground trains and buses were to a large part the result of Israeli
policy. That’s why they would be justified only against Israel: "Palestinians don'
t
have jet fighters, they only have their bodies to use as weapons. In that unfair
balance, that'
s what people use."14 But what would happen if of the 600,000 Jewish
boys under 15 none were to reach the age of 15 to 29? Would that advance the 300
million young Muslims of the year 2020 by one fraction of an inch? Or would they
13

U.S. Census Bureau (2005), “IDB Summary Demographic Data: Gaza Strip; Israel; West Bank”, IDB (website)

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just find themselves standing on another sand hill by the Arabian Sea? And where
would they go then – not only with their bodies but with jetfighters too?
If the population of Germany since 1900 had increased at the same rate that
Islam has, mankind would be faced with a nation of 600 million Germans, no. 3 in
the world, with 75 million men between 15 and 29. Would they carry ten times as
much pacifism from Germany into the world as do the present-day 7.5 million
German youths? Or would there be attacks in Kaliningrad, Gdansk, and Prague,
because progressive German youth should not be punished for Nazi crimes?
The Islamic “youth bulge” is a warning. The challenge to the West has
reached epic proportions. Mohammed Atta’s father promised to the TV station CNN
a 50-year war in which there will be “many more fighters like my son”.15 He
probably doesn’t even begin to suspect to what extent he is right demographically,
though he has probably exaggerated the stretch of time.
For about twenty years, the population bomb will increase. Then it will begin
to lose explosive power due to a general decline in the birthrate. Until then, the West
will have to hold out as a fortress. How many times can America send out an only
son in order to prevent 10 second, third or fourth brothers from engaging in acts of
terror? What the Roman limes or the Great Wall of China had to achieve for two
powers that were still the strong (though already starting to decline) will have to be
achieved in present-day Israel by the separation fence, and by Cosmic Shield around
the only remaining world power that is ready to fight. Long distance fighting
capacity as well as the potential of American and British aircraft carrier groups may
make unavoidable wars winnable.
Since colonization of other countries (settlement with the young women and
killing or enslavement of the others) so far appears unimaginable, all that remains for
14

Keinon, H. (20005), “Livingstone: Likud Is Like Hamas”, in Jerusalem Post, Jpost,com (website), July 19, 2005

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young Muslims are domestic solutions, from civil war to genocide. This began in
1975, when young men turned Lebanon (increase 1935-1975 from 0.8 to 2.8 million)
and Iran (1955-1995 from 18 to 66 million) into failed states. Since then, from the
Sahauris who have been subjected by the Moroccans to the Islamist partisans in the
Philippines, more than 1.5 million deaths have occurred due to the terrorism on the
home fronts, but also in wars. 16 More than 98 percent of the dead are other Muslims
or even Islamists. During the same 30 years, the West — without the Russians but
including the Israelis, the dead of both Iraq wars and the war in Afghanistan — has
suffered fewer than 15,000 dead.
It is the current inability of young Muslim to prove themselves in conquest that
translates into the lesser evil of terror. This might change if European powers
withdraw from a conflict after a maximum of 1,000 dead, and the US after a
maximum of 10,000 dead.
The alternative to terrorism will not be peace, nor was it for a Pizarro and his
three brothers. As always, it is called conquista. As early as 1998, the Koran teacher
Mohammed Fazazin in Hamburg/St. Georg responded to the twin Tower aggressors
of September 11, 2001: “We cannot take as much from them [the Germans and other
western states] as they owe us. . . . We are here in a warlike country that fights Islam
and the Muslims. . . . Thus we are allowed to take their daughters, mothers, wives,
and souls.” 17
Gunnar Heinsohn
Prof. Dr. phil. Dr. rer. pol.; Dipl. Soz.
Universität Bremen/Fachbereich 11
RAPHAEL - LEMKIN - INSTITUT für
Xenophobie- und Genozidforschung
Bibliotheksstr. 1
D - 28359 Bremen
GERMANY

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Tel: +49(0)421/218-3154/2027
Fax: +49(0)421/218-7069
E-Mail: <gheins@uni-bremen.de>

CNN.com, (2005), “Atta’s Father Praises London Bombs”, cnn.worldnews (website), July 20, 2005
Heinsohn, G. (2003), Soehne und Weltmacht: Terror im Aufstieg und Fall der Nationen, Zurich: Orell & Fuessli,
2003, pp. 60-70

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12

Why does the number of fallen western soldiers increases in Afghanistan?

17

Laabs, D. (2005), “Der Lehrer des Terrors”, in Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, July 17, 2005, p. 49