Cousin marriage: Pakistani Muslims in the UK are 13 times more likely to have children with genetic disorders than the general population


Why is this taboo to talk about? That is a very easy question. This is taboo to talk about in the UK and elsewhere in the West today because it is happening among Muslims. So to discuss it is “islamophobic.” For today’s political and media elites, it doesn’t matter how much devastation sharia principles or Islamic customs produce. It doesn’t matter how much women, or these disabled children, suffer. It doesn’t matter how many people are murdered in jihad terror attacks. Sharia must never be questioned. Islam must never be questioned, no matter what. Respect it!

“The tragic truth about cousin marriages: They can cause a litany of genetic illnesses and they’re a key factor in the deaths of two children a week in Britain, so why is it taboo to talk about them, asks SUE REID,” by Sue Reid, Daily Mail, July 7, 2018 (thanks to JK):

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Blessed with long wavy hair and dark brown eyes, Hiba Maroof is a beautiful teenage girl. She is softly spoken with a hint of the Yorkshire dialect so distinctive to Bradford, where she was born and raised.

Her life stretches ahead of her, yet at the age of just 18 she is already discussing with her family whether she should have an arranged marriage, and whether her future husband should be a cousin.

For Hiba comes from the city’s British-Pakistani community, in which around 60 per cent of mothers are married to their cousins according, to a major academic study.

Her uncle, Younis, hopes that Hiba does so and follows his family tradition.

Indeed, four of his own five children have wed close relatives. However, Hiba’s father is unsure. And her mother is very much against her daughter marrying such a close relative because her own first marriage — to a cousin — ended in divorce.

Hiba, single and a student at the University of Leeds, faces a common dilemma. Her story came to public attention because she featured in a BBC documentary called Should I Marry My Cousin?, which looked at the custom of cousin marriage.

Relationships described as ‘consanguineous’ are those between couples who are at least second cousins or more closely related. The practice has been legal in Britain for more than 400 years, but is considered one of society’s last taboos.

In British Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities, marriage between cousins is designed to strengthen the family and keep wealth intact.

But there are massive health risks involved for the children of such couples. And when they are tragically born with disabilities, it is taxpayers who are left to pick up the huge costs of their NHS treatment, which can run into millions over a lifetime.

New official figures shown to the Mail reveal a worrying picture across England. Shockingly, cousin marriages are a key factor in an average of two child deaths every week.

This figure is derived from the fact that a total of 545 boys or girls born to closely related couples have died in childhood during the past five years, according to the Department for Education, which collates data from Child Death Overview Panels in every council area. (It is the job of these panels to examine the deaths of any child under the age of 18.)

Thousands more children of consanguineous marriages survive, but with appalling physical or mental problems. These include blindness, deafness, blood ailments, heart or kidney failure, lung or liver problems and a myriad of often incurable and complex neurological or brain disorders.

According to a report for the BBC’s Newsnight, British Pakistanis are 13 times more likely to have children with genetic disorders than the general population.

They are responsible for three percent of all births, but produce just under a third of all British children with such health problems.

In Birmingham, around one in ten children from first cousin marriages either dies in infancy or develops a serious life-long disability caused by genetic ailments, according to health officials in the city, where half the mothers of Pakistani origin are married to a close relative.

Meanwhile, a research document by the NHS-funded Enhanced Genetic Services Project reveals that in Birmingham in 2009-2010, the combined infant stillbirth and death rate ‘definitely or probably’ due to genetic disorders inherited from Pakistani cousin parents was 38 times higher than that among white European babies in the city.

The report — one of the most thorough into this health and social problem — says: ‘Almost a third of the affected children die before five years of age.

Most of the survivors suffer chronic disability, and they are cared for by their families, posing tremendous emotional and financial strain.’

Up in Bradford, where teenager Hiba Maroof lives, doctors and nurses have told me paediatric wards look after numerous children who are unable to speak, and are fed through tubes….

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