Skip to comments.Muslim outrage as professor warns first-cousin marriages increase risk of birth defects
Posted on 08/17/2013 5:08:58 AM PDT by grundle
Inbreeding among British Muslims is threatening the health of their children, a leading geneticist warned yesterday.
Professor Steve Jones, from University College London, said the common practice in Islamic communities for cousins to marry each other increased the risk of birth defects.
There may be some evidence that cousins marrying one another can be harmful, he told an audience at the Hay Festival.
We should be concerned about that as there can be a lot of hidden genetic damage. Children are much more likely to get two copies of a damaged gene.
Bradford is very inbred. There is a huge amount of cousins marrying each other there.
Studies have shown that 55 per cent of British Pakistanis are married to first cousins and in Bradford, this rises to 75 per cent.
Other research has found that children of first cousins are ten times more likely to have recessive genetic disorders and face deafness, blindness and infant mortality.
But Prof Joness comments provoked anger among some Muslim groups yesterday.
Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, which promotes the image of Muslims in Britain, said: I know many Muslims who have married their cousins and none of them have had a problem with their children.
Obviously, we dont want any children to be born disabled who dont need to be born disabled, so I would advise genetic screening before first cousins marry.
'But I find Steve Joness comments unworthy of a professor. Using language like inbreeding to describe cousins marrying is completely inappropriate and further demonises Muslims.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
I wonder how legitimate these concerns are. Muslims in many areas have been doing this for literally centuries.
If it were as harmful as some claim, one would expect the damage to be much greater by now than it apparently is.
It comes up all the time in Mn because boat loads of Somalis have moved here and they are cousin lovers. The politicians would have us believe it’s perfectly fine to marry your cousin, you are racist if you object.
Well....they’re all Muslims...
Fairly common here in Appalachia too
As a matter of fact, my family tree is so messed up, I entered into a genealogy site and it knocked the website down for two days.
The problem is worst among children born in Britain's Pakistani community, where more than half of marriages are between first cousins, and children are 10 times more likely than the general population to suffer genetic disorders.
"The medical risks of first cousin marriages include higher rates of infant mortality, birth defects, learning difficulties, blindness, hearing problems and metabolic disorders.
"As adults, the children born from first cousin marriages are at increased risk of miscarriage or infertility. A third of children affected die before their fifth birthday.
"An investigation by Channel 4's Dispatches programme found that although more than 70 British studies have proved the risks, and 700 British Pakistani children are born with associated genetic diseases every year, many people deny the dangers."
On the other hand, they may be breeding faster than native Britons, but they are to a certain extent offsetting that by producing so many unwell children.
“Inbreeding among British Muslims”
well, that explains alot.
It explains a lot.
This happened a lot back in the 19th century pre civil war. Our ancestors looked around at that years’ crop of cousins and the chaos of the civil war and moved west in the mid to late 19th century. Mr. Mercat is related to Mary Todd Lincoln whose parents were cousins and so on going back another two or three generations. He’s pretty sane though so I’m guessing that it all got sorted out.
Do not question the increased risk, only its degree.
700 is not a particularly large number in a community of this size. If first cousin marriage were as harmful as some claim, it would be more in the range of 70,000 damaged children.
BTW, "increased risk" is often a way of obfuscating rather than enlightening the issue. Is that increase 10%, 100% or 1000%? Inquiring minds want to know.
It can't handle recursion? ;-)
It is harmful. We live in an Amish and Mennonite area with a lot of 2nd or 3rd cousin marriages (over generations)and marriages among people who are “double” cousins (both sides of the family). The local doctors advise against it. A local family lost a baby last because the couple were second cousins whose families had intermarried for years.
i’m researching families in old cemeteries. noticed that some families have married cousins and most of the children of the next two generations died young....10’s 20’s, 30’s
My father married his cousin by marriage...
does that count ???
My father’s sister married my mother’s cousin..
www.consang.net has a chart "Globally, the most common form of consanguineous union contracted is between first cousins"
Global prevalence of consanguinity
Coincidence? I don't think so.
(Sources of the images are in the links.)
The text is here
Not surprising that there is nothing there that states explicitly that Islamists blah, blah. There is this sole reference (that I could find) "double first cousin marriages, which have the same coefficient of inbreeding [as uncle-niece unions] (F = 0.125), are recognized within Islam"
It seems to me that if "Globally, the most common form of consanguineous union contracted is between first cousins" and the chart shows the Arab countries with the preponderance of consanguineous marriages then that lends a great deal of authority to other 'Net sources that state it outright: "First cousin marriages have been the tradition in many Muslim families for innumerable generations."
Thanks for your post.. I love to post that chart. I hope the owners don't mind and are indeed pleased for the additional publicity.
Why be outraged? Either it does, or it doesn’t. Deal with it.
May be harmful??? I thought that was pretty well established.