Author Topic: UK: Muslims keep marrying first cousins despite the horrific genetic consequences  (Read 1384 times)

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Offline happyg

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In the UK more than 50 per cent of British Pakistanis marry their first cousins – in Bradford that figure is 75 per cent – and across the country the practice is on the rise and also common among East African, Middle-Eastern  and Bangladeshi communities.

By TAZEEN AHMAD My mum has always had a special place in her family because she was the first girl to live beyond childhood. Five of her sisters died as babies or toddlers. It was not until many years later that anyone worked out why so many children died and three boys were born deaf.

Tazeen Ahmad

Today there is no doubt among us that this tragedy occurred because my grandparents were first cousins.

My family is not unique. Back when my grandparents were having children, the medical facts were not established. But today in Britain alone there are more than 70 scientific studies on the subject.

We know the children of first cousins are ten times more likely to be born with recessive genetic disorders which can include infant mortality, deafness and blindness.

We know British Pakistanis constitute 1.5 per cent of the population, yet a third of all children born in this country with rare recessive genetic diseases come from this community.

Despite overwhelming evidence, in the time I spent filming Dispatches: When Cousins Marry, I felt as if I was breaking a taboo rather than addressing a reality. Pakistanis have been marrying cousins for generations. In South Asia the custom keeps family networks close and ensures assets remain in the family. In Britain, the aim can be to strengthen bonds with the subcontinent as cousins from abroad marry British partners.

Some told us they face extreme pressure to marry in this way. One young woman, ‘Zara’, said when she was 16 she was emotionally blackmailed by her husband’s family in Pakistan who threatened suicide over loss of honour should she refuse to marry her cousin.
 
She relented and lives in a deeply unhappy marriage. But others told me of the great benefits of first cousin marriage – love, support and understanding. To them, questioning it is an attack on the community or, worse, Islam.

At a Pakistani centre in Sheffield, one man said: ‘The community feels targeted, whether that be forced marriages or first-cousin marriages. The community is battening down its hatches, not wanting to engage.’

As a British Pakistani, I am aware of the religious, cultural and racial sensitivities around this issue and understand why people would be on the defensive when questioned about it. At times I was torn between explaining the health risks while privately understanding the community’s sense of being demonized.

 It is not about religion or cultural identity. It is about avoidable suffering such at that experienced by Saeeda and Jalil Akhtar, whom I met in Bradford. They are first cousins and have six children, three with the genetic disease mucolipidosis type IV. This stops the body getting rid of waste properly and affects brain functions controlling vision and movement.

Mohsin, their second eldest, is 17 and blind. He wanders aimless and helpless, often crying in frustration. His sisters Hina, 13, and Zainab, 11, have the same condition. They live in almost complete darkness. Saeeda is worn down from years of round-the-clock care. She spoon-feeds them, dresses them and fears for them. Neither she nor her husband can quite accept that their familial link is the cause of this pain.
This is a major public health issue that has huge implications for other services. The cost to the NHS is many millions of pounds.

On average, a children’s hospital will see 20 to 30 recessive gene disorders a decade, but one hospital in Bradford has seen 165, while British Pakistani children are three times more likely to have learning difficulties, with care costing about £75,000 a year per child.

However during this investigation we found no efforts to introduce any national awareness-raising campaign. Why? We approached 16 MPs with a significant number of British Pakistani constituents for interview – every one declined. A lone voice was Ann Cryer, former Labour MP for Keighley, near Bradford, who said ‘fear of being accused of racism or demonisation’ prevented politicians speaking up.

The conclusion some will draw is that cousin marriages should be banned. I disagree.(Then you are part of the problem) But people must be able to make informed choices about the risks involved and options available, be they genetic screening, counselling or carrier-testing.

If this were any other health issue, politicians would have been out in force. But they are silent and as a result children continue to be born with terrible, prevent­able disabilities that are devastating their lives and those of their loved ones. UK DAILY MAIL H/T Scottish Infidel



http://www.barenakedislam.com/2010/08/23/uk-muslims-keep-marrying-first-cousins-despite-the-horrific-genetic-consequences/

Online mountaineer

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Quote
A lone voice was Ann Cryer, former Labour MP for Keighley, near Bradford, who said ‘fear of being accused of racism or demonisation’ prevented politicians speaking up.
Like all of our politicians who similarly lack principles, may she rot. This is heartbreaking for children to suffer so unnecessarily and preventably.
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Offline Oceander

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What's up with that poor fellow in the second picture?

Offline Atomic Cow

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Guess it is a good thing that with one exception, none of my cousins are hot.
"...And these atomic bombs which science burst upon the world that night were strange, even to the men who used them."  H. G. Wells, The World Set Free, 1914

"The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections." -Lord Acton

Offline Oceander

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Guess it is a good thing that with one exception, none of my cousins are hot.

I dunno; those little yellow minions sure are cute!

Offline Atomic Cow

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I dunno; those little yellow minions sure are cute!


Ha Ha

"...And these atomic bombs which science burst upon the world that night were strange, even to the men who used them."  H. G. Wells, The World Set Free, 1914

"The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections." -Lord Acton

Offline aligncare

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What's up with that poor fellow in the second picture?

The two possibilities are Proteus syndrome and neurofibromatosis type 1 (Also known as von Recklinghausen disease). Either can cause macrocephaly (enlarged head) as seen in that photo. One of these genetic disorders is thought to be responsible for the disfigured “Elephant Man” who toured Europe in the 19th century and was the subject of a 1980 film.

Neurofibromatosis type 1 is a genetically inherited disorder, but approximately half of NF 1 cases are due to de novo mutations and no other affected family members are seen. Proteus syndrome is not an inherited disease and is caused by a single de novo mutation that affects only 500 people globally. NF 1 has a disorder frequency of 1 in 4000.
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Online mountaineer

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I've had classmates whose parents were too closely related, and in both instances the consequence was near baldness and the girls had to wear wigs.

One of the girls had a brother born without a hand.
Just being unique doesn't make you useful.

Online musiclady

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The two possibilities are Proteus syndrome and neurofibromatosis type 1 (Also known as von Recklinghausen disease). Either can cause macrocephaly (enlarged head) as seen in that photo. One of these genetic disorders is thought to be responsible for the disfigured “Elephant Man” who toured Europe in the 19th century and was the subject of a 1980 film.

Neurofibromatosis type 1 is a genetically inherited disorder, but approximately half of NF 1 cases are due to de novo mutations and no other affected family members are seen. Proteus syndrome is not an inherited disease and is caused by a single de novo mutation that affects only 500 people globally. NF 1 has a disorder frequency of 1 in 4000.

Do you think the disorder he has, then, is not likely caused by marrying close relatives?
Character still matters.  It always matters.

May 3, 2016 - the day the Republican party left ME.  I am now without a Party, and quite possibly without a country.  May God have mercy!

Offline aligncare

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British tabloids tend to go overboard with illustrations accompanying stories. I think that particular photo was used for effect, a dramatization. His condition is probably the result of Proteus or NF 1, not the result of inbreeding.
Some #NeverTrumpers are like the pockets of Japanese who didn't know the war was over

Offline Atomic Cow

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1st cousin marriage used to be fairly common in western culture as well.  The difference is now we understand the genetic aspect of it.  Of course, Islam is stuck in the 12th century.
"...And these atomic bombs which science burst upon the world that night were strange, even to the men who used them."  H. G. Wells, The World Set Free, 1914

"The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections." -Lord Acton

Online musiclady

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British tabloids tend to go overboard with illustrations accompanying stories. I think that particular photo was used for effect, a dramatization. His condition is probably the result of Proteus or NF 1, not the result of inbreeding.

I thought that might be the case.

Thanks, aligncare!
Character still matters.  It always matters.

May 3, 2016 - the day the Republican party left ME.  I am now without a Party, and quite possibly without a country.  May God have mercy!

Online musiclady

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1st cousin marriage used to be fairly common in western culture as well.  The difference is now we understand the genetic aspect of it.  Of course, Islam is stuck in the 12th century.

In the wonderful new adaptation of Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, they try to disguise the fact that you are rooting for the heroine, Fanny Price to marry her first cousin.....   **nononono*
Character still matters.  It always matters.

May 3, 2016 - the day the Republican party left ME.  I am now without a Party, and quite possibly without a country.  May God have mercy!


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