Did Ibn Saud’s militants cause 400,000 casualties? Myths and evidence about the Wahhabi conquests, 1902–1925

Jeff Eden*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

No fewer than 15 recent books repeat the claim that Ibn Saud’s militants killed or wounded 400,000–800,000 people during the Wahhabi conquest of the Arabian Peninsula between 1902 and 1925. In this paper, I uncover the origins of this disturbing statistic and challenge its validity. On the basis of primary-source data—especially the reports of British agents and observers working in the Arabian Peninsula at the time—I argue that the number of people killed and wounded during the Wahhabi conquests, while still great, has been wildly exaggerated, and I propose a more realistic casualty estimate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-534
Number of pages16
JournalBritish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
Volume46
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 8 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • History
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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