Marriages between cousins


by Rumbold
22nd March, 2010 at 12:26 pm    

Baroness Deech, who is a member of the House of Lords and a professor, has called for greater awareness about the impact of first cousin marriages on children of said unions:

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.

The problem is not cousin marriages per se, as one off cousin marriages don’t have much of a genetic impact on children, but rather repeated intermarriage between first cousins:

Lady Deech calls for measures short of a ban to prevent the genetic problems arising from cousin marriage.

She says: “There is no reason, one could argue, why there should not be a campaign to highlight the risks and the preventative measures, every bit as vigorous as those centring on smoking, obesity and Aids.” While there was reluctance to “target or upset Muslims over cousin-marriage issues” the practice was not mandated by religion, only permitted, so it is not at heart a religious issue, she argues.

A campaign of education needs to start in schools so they understand about genetics and what it means to carry a mutant gene.

The Baroness’ suggestions seem sensible, though I am not sure about her plan to test genetic defects in those who have arranged marriages. It makes sense, but how would you differentiate between arranged and love marriages?

The problem is that, like in Europe a few centuries ago, first marriages are still an attractive prospect for families: they help to solidify alliances and keep property within a family. This is an issue that needs to be discussed a great deal more.


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  1. Luke McGee

    RT @pickledpolitics: Blog post:: Marriages between cousins http://bit.ly/c5tNCY


  2. pickles

    Blog post:: Marriages between cousins http://bit.ly/c5tNCY




  1. masud — on 22nd March, 2010 at 12:56 pm  

    ” While there was reluctance to “target or upset Muslims over cousin-marriage issues”

    ha
    yes because politicians so rarely target the Muslim community

    “the practice was not mandated by religion, only permitted, so it is not at heart a religious issue, she argues.”

    this is true. It has little to do with religion (according to many scholars cousin marriage is makruh which means permitted but disliked) and much more to do with the backwards culture certain Muslims in the UK come from “back home” where marrying cousins was a way of keeping property in the family, or in the UK context, helping the family by getting another member over here.

  2. Sarah AB — on 22nd March, 2010 at 1:15 pm  

    This reminds me of arguments about halal (or kosher) meat. There may well be cause for concern but it’s an issue which can be taken up for the wrong reasons.

  3. masud — on 22nd March, 2010 at 1:20 pm  

    Cousin marriages are also permitted by Judaism and practicised by Jews. The fact that Baroness Deech is a member of the Jewish leadership council and doesnt mention this makes her intervention look like Muslim bashing rather than serious concern over this issue- rather like if a Muslim politician railed against cousin marriage amongst Jews or slaughtering of kosher meat.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruth_Deech,_Baroness_Deech

  4. persephone — on 22nd March, 2010 at 1:35 pm  

    “Cousin marriages are also permitted by Judaism and practicised by Jews”

    Deech recognises this since, in the article linked to, she refers to screening & registers being used by Orthodox Jews and that a similar variant of this be used by muslims.

  5. douglas clark — on 22nd March, 2010 at 1:53 pm  

    masud,

    So, is it a good thing, or a bad thing? You appear to sway in the wind.

  6. Abu Faris — on 22nd March, 2010 at 2:08 pm  

    Cousin marriages are still, unfortunately, the norm where I am in sub-Saharan Africa.

    Traditionally, the male first cousins have the first dibs on daughters coming of age.

    Not-so-serious marriage proposals from first cousins are an age-old way of driving off suitors unwanted by the extended family – as the non-cousin suitor is effectively put to the bottom of the queue as the cousins affect interest in the young woman until the unwanted suitor gets the message and drops his proposal.

    Most women, then, marry their first cousins.

    Another unwanted relic from times of yore is the vile practice of FGM that continues to blight the lives of the women of the region.

    Frankly, whether these things are sanctioned or not by religion is of little interest to those who are enslaved to such barbarities.

  7. bananabrain — on 22nd March, 2010 at 2:29 pm  

    first cousin marriages are not permitted by jewish law, so it doesn’t tend to be an issue for us – however, the more endogamous groups, like some of the ultra-orthodox sects, are increasingly showing the results of what looks like a particularly shallow bit of the gene pool.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  8. douglas clark — on 22nd March, 2010 at 2:30 pm  

    Abu Faris,

    Frankly, whether these things are sanctioned or not by religion is of little interest to those who are enslaved to such barbarities.

    Good man!

  9. SKye-Vee — on 22nd March, 2010 at 2:55 pm  

    My parents’ families are both huge. My in-laws family is also huge. We had to go back quite a few generations to look at the links before the wedding.

    I tell you sorting out the marriage links from the blood links is a hard task. How far back do you go? It’s like I am related to every other Indian on the planet.

    There is a simple solution though. Don’t marry an Indian. Should have thought of that earlier. Wonder what Mummy and Daddy would have said.

  10. platinum786 — on 22nd March, 2010 at 3:06 pm  

    Some of these Pakistani’s are getting ridiculous. I mean surely when you have 3-4 generations of marrying first cousins you might understand your reducing the gene pool?

    Ironically it wasn’t practised in this manner in the past. Cousin marraige is a perfectly acceptable and practised part of Pakistani culture, however people tended not to do it again, generation after generation after generation to first cousins, reason being you’d reduce the links to the baradari (extended family). People have also understood the genetic aspects for generations.

  11. MaidMarian — on 22nd March, 2010 at 5:47 pm  

    ‘While there was reluctance to “target or upset Muslims…’

    Come on Rumbold, you can do better than this! It may well be that there are good ideas here, but the story here is that a need to tip-toe around identity politics is being placed above a health issue.

    It is curious that other identities do not seem to cause such sensitivity – black africans have a rate of diabetes statistically much higher than other racial groups and there is no problem with raising that as a legitimate health issue in areas with a high black african population.

    Less identity gripes – that should be the message here.

  12. zak — on 22nd March, 2010 at 7:46 pm  

    Recently a province in Pakistan has passed a law for mandatory blood screening of newly weds to stop thalassemia. So some form of cultural awareness is important

    Mind you there has only been two cousin marriages on my maternal side in 60 years..my argument is that just shows how much we all don’t get along

  13. masud — on 22nd March, 2010 at 9:26 pm  

    douglas clark
    “masud,

    So, is it a good thing, or a bad thing? You appear to sway in the wind.”

    I believe cousin marriage to be generally a bad thing since the essence of Islam and one of its beauties is its internationalism and indeed intermarriage has been a part in spreading the religion.

    “O Mankind, We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other. Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is the most righteous of you” (Quran 49:13).

    However if two cousins like each other and want to marry , why should they be stopped?

  14. Dalbir — on 22nd March, 2010 at 9:37 pm  

    Has anyone ever seen Texas Chainsaw Massacre?

  15. cousinmarriagefacts — on 22nd March, 2010 at 9:49 pm  

    There is an interesting site here

    http://www.cousincouples.com/

    And some interesting facts about cousin marriages:

    26 states allow first cousin marriages; most people can marry their cousin in the US.

    US prohibitions against cousin marriages predate modern genetics.

    No European country prohibits marriage between first cousins. It is also legal throughout Canada and Mexico to marry your cousin. The U.S. is the only western country with cousin marriage restrictions.

    Children of non-related couples have a 2-3% risk of birth defects, as opposed to first cousins having a 4-6% risk. Genetic counseling is available for those couples that may be at a special risk for birth defects (e.g. You have a defect that runs in your family) In plain terms first cousins have at a 94 percent + chance of having healthy children. Check the links section for more information on genetic counselors. The National Society of Genetic Counselors estimated the increased risk for first cousins is between 1.7 to 2.8 percent, or about the same a any woman over 40 years of age.

    Second cousins have little, if any increased chance of having children with birth defects, per the book “Clinical Genetics Handbook”

    The frequency of cousin marriages in the USA is about 1 in 1,000. The frequency of cousin marriages in Japan is about 4 in 1,000

    It is estimated that 20 percent of all couples worldwide are first cousins. It is also estimated that 80 percent of all marriages historically have been between first cousins!

    In some cultures, the term cousin and mate are synonymous.

    Albert Einstein married his first cousin. And so did Charles Darwin, who had exceptional children.

    Franklin D. Roosevelt, the longest serving US president in history married his cousin (not a first cousin, however they shared the same last name).

    Leviticus 18 lists all forbidden sexual relationships. Cousin relationships are not included.

    God commanded many cousins to marry, including Zelophehad’s 5 daughters, Eleazar’s daughters, Jacob (who married both Rachel and Leah, first cousins), and Isaac and Rebekkah (first cousins once removed)

    It is likely that Joseph and Mary — Christ’s earthly parents were first cousins.

    Current studies indicate that cousin couples have a lower ratio of miscarriages — perhaps because body chemistry of cousins is more similar. The verdict is still out.

    We are all cousins. No two people are more distantly related than 50th cousins.

    http://www.cousincouples.com/?page=facts

  16. Niels Christensen — on 22nd March, 2010 at 9:50 pm  

    The problem is in Denmark the ‘SILENCE’ regarding the matter.
    But luckily some are doing something about this problem. The Emirates is hosting one of the leading research centers in the world regarding genetic disorders.
    http://www.cags.org.ae/index.html

  17. Bartholomew — on 23rd March, 2010 at 1:08 am  

    Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

  18. Yakoub — on 23rd March, 2010 at 6:34 am  

    I’m open to correction here, but I know historically that patrilinear descent impelled frequent first cousin marriages in the Middle East (cf. Charles Lindholm’s, “The Islamic Middle East”). The Mail is already talking about “Muslim and South Asian”, but I would like to know whether other UK-based ethnic communities are troubled by this issue and whether the campaign intends to include them. As Mark Steel pointed out after Jack Straw made a big deal over the veil, did he ask the same of the Saudi royal family?

  19. Abu Faris — on 23rd March, 2010 at 10:22 am  

    In Sudan and Upper Egypt, where first cousins are most likely to marry each other, it has been suggested that it is a tail-end to the ancient regional practice of allowing sibling marriage (as in ancient Egypt).

    AFAIK, little research (or perhaps little evidence exists) has been done to the extent to which sibling marriage was active in the non-royal general populations of ancient Egypt and Nubia. However, it is clear that first cousin marriage is even today considered to be of higher status and more preferable than marriage beyond the extended family in this region.

    Incidentally, FGM was certainly practised in ancient Egypt and Nubia. Indeed its most extreme form is called the Pharaonic for precisely this reason. It is principle form still inflicted on young girls in Sudan and Upper Egypt. The majority of women continue to marry their first cousins, crippled by such violence against their person.

    MaidMariam @11′s comment is bang on the money. When I worked with a Pakistani community in the east Midlands of England, the medical ramifications of their custom of first cousin marriage were generally considered to be something that should not be discussed.

  20. Abu Faris — on 23rd March, 2010 at 10:28 am  

    Niels Christensen @16

    Funny you should mention the Emirates – no wonder they have a leading research centre on genetic disorders, given the Khalija Arab tendency to marry other members of their own extended families.

    Perhaps someone might campaign against their other rather undesirable practice of marrying under-age children off to their relatives?

    My wife, who went to primary school in Oman, recounts how nearly all of her fellow Year 6 aged fellows were betrothed to cousins four times their age.

    Again, something supposedly sanctioned by religious custom.

  21. douglas clark — on 23rd March, 2010 at 5:51 pm  

    Well,

    We have lots of folk not addressing the question.

    Is it an issue or isn’t it?

    Is this true or false:

    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.

    Could we clarify that? Apaprently 33% of children with recessive disorders are Asian. That is bad news…

  22. Yakoub — on 23rd March, 2010 at 6:29 pm  

    Interestingly, when I emailed Lady Deech about this, she replied that she was “not starting a campaign, only reviewing the academic studies.”

  23. Don — on 23rd March, 2010 at 7:45 pm  

    Douglas,

    Quite. We need to have the research as meticulous as it can be and the cause/effect established as well as is clinically possible. But google scholarship does seem to support these figures.

    I’d say that there is a case to be made that it is a serious issue and that it should be urgently addressed.

    The proposed screening that does not identify or stigmatise individuals who may carry recessive genes, but which flags up a high-risk marriage, seems to be a step in the right direction, as does offering a screening service for those already in such marriages. But obviously people need to be persuaded to buy into it.

    Since the MCB seem to be supportive of Lady Deech’s position they might want to take the lead in a campaign to make these risks more widely known. It would be one of the more useful things they have done.

    Damn, if a cultural practice leads to a tenfold risk of birth defects then the culture has taken a wrong turn and needs to reverse sharpish. No doubt there are complicating factors, but the consequences on individual children, on the families, on the potential for the communities in question to thrive are devastating.

  24. Rumbold — on 23rd March, 2010 at 8:20 pm  

    Don hits the nail on the head:

    Damn, if a cultural practice leads to a tenfold risk of birth defects then the culture has taken a wrong turn and needs to reverse sharpish. No doubt there are complicating factors, but the consequences on individual children, on the families, on the potential for the communities in question to thrive are devastating.

  25. douglas clark — on 23rd March, 2010 at 9:49 pm  

    Rumbold @ 24,

    I’d have thought so.

  26. KJB — on 24th March, 2010 at 12:29 am  

    I can’t help wondering if part of the problem here is precisely that once a cousin marriage happens once and ‘works’ (i.e. doesn’t end in divorce), it inevitably becomes an example to be aspired to. Hence, perhaps to some extent when there is one cousin marriage, more are likely to follow in the same family?

    I might be wrong, I’m not from a community where this has ever been prevalent to the best of my knowledge, but low expectations for women and a dim view of what women are entitled to in marriage on the part of men and older females, seem to be quite common across the Asian subcontinent…

    masud – come off it. Rumbold has said that one marriage is fine. Repeated cousin marriages, however, are not, and those will never all be love-marriages.

    Abu Faris – finding your comments most informative!

    Perhaps there needs to be some interviewing of those who are already in cousin marriages in order to ascertain why it is that it happens. After all, no-one here really knows for sure, do they? Once a set of common beliefs is established, those beliefs can be challenged. Like, it’s obviously NOT better to ‘keep it in the family’ if that eventually leads to you inter-breeding yourself out of existence somewhere down the line…

  27. Abu Faris — on 24th March, 2010 at 1:46 am  

    KJB

    On cousin-marriage in Sudan, I can tell you that the reasons given by the people are two-fold – and these intertwine and reinforce one another.

    Firstly, Sudanese (especially rural Sudanese) mention economic incentives – cousin marriages keep property within the family unit (which is considerably wider than the general European notion of the same). Amongst the nomads (for instance the traditionally camel herders of the Hamar tribe of the Kordofan deserts) this is vitally property in their herds. This allows promissory inheritances (my wife has been promised twelve camels, should she ever chose to pick them up, by an uncle – in this way critical property circulates through the extended family network. OT, but the economics of these matters is a particular fascination of mine).

    Secondly, Sudanese (especially the urban and sedentary populations of, especially, Khartoum) stress tradition and custom. The urban environments of Sudan are very historically recent (Khartoum dates from only the early 19th Century, most other major towns from considerably later). The urban Sudanese are still orientated on their ancestral regions – indeed at major festivals, Khartoum empties as people “return” to their “home” bases. Cousin marriage is seen as a tradition and a way of maintaining links and identity in urban environments that necessarily otherwise erode the same. Tribal identity works in similar (but often more insidious and politically captured ways in Sudan – certain tribes being in receipt of greater favour than others – indeed Sudan has been politically dominated by three northern tribes since before independence… and therein lies the whole root of this country’s persistent troubles).

    In all, then, apart from economic reasons (now principally in the rural heartlands of Sudan), a major factor for the persistence of cousin marriage is as a marker of identity: it assists in the Sudanese self-description.

  28. Abu Faris — on 24th March, 2010 at 1:50 am  

    As an addendum:

    I write above exclusively of the mainly Arabic-speaking areas of north, central and western Sudan.

  29. Abu Faris — on 24th March, 2010 at 1:52 am  

    Don @23′s comment is bang on the money, I think.

  30. nobodys hero — on 24th March, 2010 at 6:09 am  

    The grandparents were cousins
    The parents are cousins
    the kids will marry their cousins
    So will their kids.Not a healthy gene pool,not surprised kids are born disabled

  31. Ravi Naik — on 24th March, 2010 at 7:59 am  

    The grandparents were cousins
    The parents are cousins
    the kids will marry their cousins
    So will their kids.Not a healthy gene pool,not surprised kids are born disabled

    I think this is the issue. The risk of recessive disorders is slightly larger for children of first cousin marriages if it happens sporadically. However, when this practice is done as high as 50% and 75% in a community, you can see how it becomes a problem. It is also clear that this number is high because marriages are arranged – so this problem will not solve by itself.

    As others pointed out, this is not a Muslim problem but a cultural one and should be treated as such. In France, I am told, before marrying you are forced to take blood tests to see if you are related. It seems that inbreeding was a real issue in some parts of France.

  32. Abu Faris — on 24th March, 2010 at 11:07 am  

    The rule on blood-tests before marriage in France is not to disprove consanguinity. It belongs to the infernal machinery of unnecessary and tedious bureaucratic hurdle-jumping that plagues all official transactions in which the all-pervasive French state involves itself – and is actually a hang-over from rather peculiar and very antiquated ideas about “good” and “bad” blood.

    French family heads are also expected to keep an annual recording their family trees. Witnesses for marriage are expected to have been declared weeks before the local mayor, etc., conducts the ceremony. If the witness drops out – tough luck, the wedding must be delayed.

    You are also expected to have a certificate for visiting sapier-pompiers proving that your chimney was recently swept. And having an unagreed overdraft is a heinous criminal offence.

    Vive la Republique.

  33. soru — on 24th March, 2010 at 11:44 am  

    a major factor for the persistence of cousin marriage is as a marker of identity

    That’s the tricky bit with any such social reform or public health campaign: avoiding a backlash that ends up making the situation worse.

    You don’t want to end up with the Punjabi equivalent of Jeremy Clarkson saying ‘I don’t care what those geeks in the lab coats say with all their blood tests and forms – I’m just a cousin-marrying kind of guy’.

    Cousin-marriage, like speeding and polluting, is just the kind of thing that would work as that kind of badge of identity.

  34. persephone — on 24th March, 2010 at 11:49 am  

    the remarks @26 by douglas’s stalker – are they not defamation/slander/libel – should this not be reported to the police?

  35. persephone — on 24th March, 2010 at 12:21 pm  

    “That’s the tricky bit with any such social reform or public health campaign: avoiding a backlash that ends up making the situation worse”

    The shame is that if the parents concerned become more committed to this then they are only hurting their children & future grand children. It would be a case of you cannot always help those who are unwilling to help themselves. Unfortunately the true casualties are the children who are affected by such disorders – they will be the ones suffering the ultimate backlash.

  36. chairwoman — on 24th March, 2010 at 12:59 pm  

    “Has anyone ever seen Texas Chainsaw Massacre?”

    Or Deliverence?

  37. Wibble — on 24th March, 2010 at 1:17 pm  

    Hmmh, a populist policy based upon this topic could be just what Sarko needs…

  38. Abu Faris — on 24th March, 2010 at 1:50 pm  

    Wibble

    Sarko’s supposedly anti-Muslim policies, for example, the ban on the burkha are widely misunderstood in their implementation outside of France. Equally,they are widely supported across the political spectrum (for example, the recent and not so recent editorials in L’Huma, the PCF paper).

    Given this, one might suggest that if Sarko wants to be cynically populist he might consider his broader economic and social policies to address such issues as unemployment and job insecurity: as these are the issues that are making him so very unpopular in France at the present time both amongst non-Muslims and Muslims alike.

  39. persephone — on 24th March, 2010 at 2:29 pm  

    ^ but stalking & using a false identity are criminal

    BTW using someone elses moniker is cowardly and sneaky. If you are going to be a bully at least do it with some backbone or finesse

  40. persephone — on 24th March, 2010 at 2:41 pm  

    It figures.

    The link from the moniker @44 is to the BNP site. Obviously, PP is getting too close for comfort. Obviously, with no other debating tactics all that is left is insults.

  41. Grundy — on 24th March, 2010 at 2:59 pm  

    Persephone

    From the language and general aggressive tone I suspect we may be in the Odinesque presence of a sock puppet of Lee Barnes.

  42. persephone — on 24th March, 2010 at 3:34 pm  

    Grundy

    Perhaps it is Lee John Barnes and he has resorted to this moniker because we kept asking him questions about his ‘legality’ as a qualified solicitor. I spose its much easier to hide than face reality.

  43. KJB — on 24th March, 2010 at 3:48 pm  

    And how many of us Douglas Clarks are there in the world anyway you ignorant cunt?

    Well, there’s only one on this website, sunshine and you sure as hell aren’t him.

    We know you’re not the brightest (ironic, ain’t it, given that I called you ‘sunshine’?), but really… This is laughable.

    Oh please, DO re-use your unimaginative cuss again! It might just be too much for me, and I might have to… snicker, or something.

    LMAO @ Grundy. Perse, I think you are bang on the money. I also believe that this sockpuppet, be he Mr. LLB (Hons) himself or not, tends to undergo a process of ‘reverse evolution’ upon encountering people who are vastly more intelligent. This seems to be true of sockpuppets generally. Just picture him as Gollum, but less charming, and you’re there.

  44. Ravi Naik — on 24th March, 2010 at 4:12 pm  

    It always happens. When am I going to realise that I am just a gobshite cunt and learn my lesson?

    When you google search for “gobshite cunt” in Pickled Politics, you get one single entry. Who actually used that term here before?

    Now, pretend like you are surprised.

  45. Ravi Naik — on 24th March, 2010 at 4:19 pm  

    Apologies, here is the link that shows only one person using the term “gobshite cunt” in PP.

  46. Ravi Naik — on 24th March, 2010 at 4:32 pm  

    Aren’t you supposed to help the BNP figure out how to pretend be a non-racist party and keep an all-white membership? Or do they require real lawyers? I think so, as it requires a lot of expertise and you sound very bitter.

  47. Abu Faris — on 24th March, 2010 at 4:36 pm  

    Oh, it’s Lee!

    How very tedious.

    Incidentally, Lee claims that he bought his LLB degree online.

    His latest contribution to the The “McGonegal Bumper Book of the World’s Worst Poetry” is quite sublime, m’dears. It starts (and I quote):

    “One morning along a misty riverbank,
    I walked in an ecstasy of silence”

    Well, I’m not quite sure how one achieves that trick; nonetheless perhaps we might wander along this riverbank in a similar reverie of quiet on Lee’s part?

    Tip, Lee – if you are going to try to rip off Langland at least learn to alliterate.

    “In a somer sesun, whon softe was the sonne,
    I schop me into a shroud, as I a scheep were;
    In habite as an hermite unholy of werkes
    Wente I wyde in this world wondres to here;
    Bote in a Mayes morwnynge on Malverne hulles
    Me bifel a ferly, of fairie, me-thoughte.

    I was wery, forwandred, and wente me to reste
    Undur a brod banke bi a bourne side;
    And as I lay and leonede and lokede on the watres,
    slumbrede in a slepynge, hit swyed so murie.”

    Beautiful, and not a miserable cnut in sight.

  48. Abu Faris — on 24th March, 2010 at 4:55 pm  

    “One morning along a misty riverbank,
    I walked in an ecstasy of silence”

    translation:

    The morning after getting
    fucked in the pub and finding
    myself down by the canal coming
    down off ecstasy
    the sound of the White Power Noize
    of the night before tripped powerfully
    through my noddle and a vision of skinhead boyz
    stripped to the waist, sweaty.

  49. Grundy — on 24th March, 2010 at 5:49 pm  

    Is inbreeding a problem in your family too, Lee?

  50. Onan the Barbarian — on 24th March, 2010 at 5:51 pm  

    What a ghastly fellow this Barnes!

    I’m sure the Mosleys would not have entertained the idea of this person for a long weekend. Despite the Mitford sisters’ known penchant for a bit of rough.

    Ghastly!

  51. Abu Faris — on 24th March, 2010 at 6:02 pm  

    Lee wrecking threads by idiotic trolling.

    Well, feck me, there’s a surprise. How dull.

    Fare not well, Nazi boy.

  52. Don — on 24th March, 2010 at 6:52 pm  

    Could we maybe not respond while awaiting Lee’s {LLB (Hons)}deletion? Tends to sidetrack the thread. We’re the grown-ups here and we are not at home to Mr Potty-mouth.

  53. Don — on 24th March, 2010 at 7:32 pm  

    Onan,

    Jessica was a good ‘un.

    “You may not be able to change the world, but at least you can embarrass the guilty.”

  54. persephone — on 24th March, 2010 at 7:42 pm  

    Thanks KJB

    “Just picture him as Gollum, but less charming, and you’re there” :-)

    But the reality may be worse – a fey 80’s magician from Bognor who has mistakenly asked for a Brazilian on the wrong part of his anatomy:

    http://lancasteruaf.blogspot.com/2009/07/strange-world-of-lee-john-barnes.html

  55. Rumbold — on 24th March, 2010 at 9:03 pm  

    I am not sure it is LJB LLB Hons (etc.) Just ignore the poster please, as they will be periodically deleted when spotted.

  56. KJB — on 24th March, 2010 at 10:53 pm  

    Perse: good Lord. The words ‘Eurotrash’ and ‘devil magician’ come to mind. Don has said what I was going to say after having my bit of point-and-laugh… Apparently this here is an unusually persistent troll (that’s from my inside source ;-) he knows who he is) so we all really should just ignore it.

  57. douglas clark — on 25th March, 2010 at 8:57 am  

    Thanks to Rumbold. He really does do sterling work in keeping this place ticking over. And also thanks to the rest of you who are not fooled by a clown.

  58. Koala — on 25th March, 2010 at 9:42 am  

    This problem of the birth defects in the Pakistani community has long been known in the NHS. My sister worked in this field in Northern England with many of the ‘problem’ couples. I say ‘problem’ because many couples had more than one affected child even tho’ it was thoroughly explained to them why their child was physically/mentally disabled.

    They were very aware that most couples, even tho’ they had already produced one or more disabled children were under pressure from their families to continue to have children because the next one might be the ‘perfect’ one although mental deficiency could not always be ascertained until the child was older.

    No matter how many times the department tried to bring this problem to the attention of politicians they were constantly ignored. I am extremely glad that it is now in the public forum because according to my sister some of the children children were so appallingly deformed they will have to be hospitalised for life. Many just live inside their parent’s home forever and never see the light of day.

    There are also wards of Asian children curtained off in their cubicles so as to be invisible to sensitive members of the visiting public who happen to wander into the wrong ward. Perhaps now there will be some action from government authorities – she and her colleagues were of the opinion that eventually there would have to be special homes built for these children if no action was taken as they took up so much time, attention and finance when they were kept in the NHS system.

    One wonders what happens to children born like this in countries where cosanginious marriages are the norm. One dreads to think.

  59. muslim — on 25th March, 2010 at 8:44 pm  

    Abu Faris
    “Sarko’s supposedly anti-Muslim policies, for example, the ban on the burkha are widely misunderstood in their implementation outside of France. ”

    I dont get how you, living in the Sudan, get them while people in other European countries dont ?

    “Equally,they are widely supported across the political spectrum (for example, the recent and not so recent editorials in L’Huma, the PCF paper).”

    Yes there is strong anti-Muslim sentiment on the right and the left in France for different reasons. So what ? There was strong anti-semitism in both groups in the 30s in France.

  60. over yonder — on 27th March, 2010 at 12:04 am  

    do islands where people marry from amongst one another have similar problems?

    what about the amish? the hassidim? the pockets of social and economic isolation that one finds throughout the UK are also a fertile ground for inter- marriage.

    who comprises the other two thirds of congenital disorders?

  61. Amit — on 1st April, 2010 at 6:28 am  

    Personally I think banging your own cousin sister is a bit odd.

    Cousins are pretty much like brothers and sisters.

    Pakistani Muslims seem to be at the cutting edge of this backward practice and also at the cutting edge of Islamic terrorism too.

    I think it should be banned in the UK immediately.

    But then I’m sick of all the crap Pakistani Muslims bring to the UK like bombing Tubes etc….

  62. Raff — on 1st April, 2010 at 6:59 am  

    I know I am a bit behind the curve on this, but an academic paper on this topic that might be of interest to some.

    The arranged transnational cousin marriages of British Pakistanis: critique, dissent and cultural continuity
    Author: Alison Shaw
    Published in: journal Contemporary South Asia, Volume 15, Issue 2 June 2006 , pages 209 – 220

    Abstract
    Links with kin ‘back home’ have been central to Pakistani migration and settlement in Britain. Fifty years since the first phase of migration began, these links are maintained and re-created most centrally through the common practice of arranged transnational marriage, mostly involving first cousins. This paper outlines and comments on several strands of critique of this social trend. It describes how arranged transnational cousin marriage has become a key symbol of cultural difference within Britain, where it is linked with discourses of cultural, social and biological harm. Drawing on recent fieldwork with couples of Punjabi and Pakistan-administered Kashmiri family origins in transnational marriages, the paper provides a commentary on these critiques. The paper reveals the complexity of motivations behind transnational marriage choices, and suggests that, despite the current critiques, the balance of risks continues to favour this dynamic and increasingly negotiated social practice.

    http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a759261686

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