Saturday, March 20

Rise in first-cousin marriages 'is putting children's health at risk'

This is deeply worrisome. I have researched in Bradford and the levels of illiteracy in that place is diabolical. But the article is well argued and the lady’s arguments against banning are also very good. I quote:


Baroness Deech, a family law professor and crossbencher, will call next week for a “vigorous” public campaign to deter the practice, which is prevalent in Muslim and immigrant communities and on the rise. She will reignite a debate started five years ago when Ann Cryer, MP for Keighley, drew attention to the number of disabled babies being born in the town and called for cousin marriage to be stopped.

Fifty-five per cent of British Pakistanis are married to first cousins and in Bradford the figure is 75 per cent. British Pakistanis represent 3 per cent of all births in Britain but one third of children with recessive disorders.

Lady Deech will also warn that marriage between first cousins can be a barrier to the integration of minority communities. In a lecture she will call for testing for genetic defects where such marriages are arranged and the keeping of a register of people who carry genetic diseases, so that two carriers are not introduced. “Some variant of this could be possible in cities such as Bradford with a high density of immigrant population,” she will say.

“The local estimate was that 75 per cent of Bradford disabled children had cousin parents and the rate of cousin marriage in the UK Pakistani community is increasing,” Lady Deech will say.

In Birmingham, another city with a substantial immigrant community, Lady Deech notes that 10 per cent of the children of first cousins die in infancy or have a disability.

But how much do you want to bet that the BNP picks this up?

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