First Cousin Marriages in Pakistani families Leading To Disabilities among Children

Indian marriage

An Indian marriage. The Muslim Times promoting secularism in every country of the world

 

Source: Telegraph

By , Deputy Political Editor

Comments 150 Comments

Couples who are getting married should be forced to have a DNA test first to ensure they are not cousins amid growing concern about incest within Pakistani communities, Britain’s first Asian peer has claimed.

Baroness Flather, a former Tory who now sits as a cross-bencher, said in the House of Lords that it is “absolutely appalling” that first cousin marriages in Pakistani communities are leading to “so much disability among children”.

She said: “There are a lot of first-cousin marriages in certain communities, particularly among Pakistanis who come from the Pakistani Kashmir area. We know so much about DNA now, but there is so much disability among the children, which is absolutely appalling.

“You go to any such family and there will be four or five children, at least one or two of whom will have some disability. That is absolutely unacceptable, and if we cannot do anything about it, is it fair to the children?”

Baroness Flather, a former barrister who was born in the Pakistani city of Lahore when it was part of India, said: “Never mind the parents — it is not fair to the children that they should be allowed to become disabled because of a social practice. It is a social practice which does not belong in today’s age, when we know so much about DNA. There should at least be some rule which says that you must have a DNA examination before your marriage can be registered.”

First-cousin marriages, which are are legal in the UK, are practised within Britain’s Pakistani community, as well as among some Arab and African families. Medical data previously suggested that while British Pakistanis were responsible for 3 per cent of all births, they accounted for 30 per cent of British children born with a genetic illness.

The noble Baroness Flather also raised concerns about Sharia law, under which women struggle to get a divorce.

She said: “I know I am probably talking about Muslims, but we now have this business of sharia marriages. It is appalling that the man can get a divorce by just asking for it, while a woman may have to wait years, and may still not get it. She can get a British divorce, but not a sharia divorce.

Noble Lords may ask, “Why does that matter?”, and I asked that of those women. They replied, “It means that we can’t go to Pakistan”.

“If they go there, the husband can come and take the children away, no matter what age they are. In any case, the husband can take the children from a sharia marriage when they are seven. All marriages should be automatically registered in this country. It is not fair to the women that some British women — they are British women when they come here — are treated in a different and unacceptable way from others.”

Reference

Source: IBT

Britain’s first Asian peer has stressed that couples should be forced to do a DNA test to prevent marriage between cousins and the resulting disabilities.

Baroness Shreela Flather condemned the “absolutely appalling” first cousin marriages common in Pakistani communities that have led to “so much disability among children”.

You go to any such family and there will be four or five children, at least one or two of whom will have some disability. That is absolutely unacceptable, and if we cannot do anything about it, is it fair to the children?

– Baroness Shreela Flather

“There are a lot of first-cousin marriages in certain communities, particularly among Pakistanis who come from the Pakistani Kashmir area. We know so much about DNA now, but there is so much disability among the children, which is absolutely appalling,” said Flather, reported The Telegraph.

“You go to any such family and there will be four or five children, at least one or two of whom will have some disability. That is absolutely unacceptable, and if we cannot do anything about it, is it fair to the children?”

Flather said it’s unfair to allow a social practice to fuel so many disabilities among children.

“It is a social practice which does not belong in today’s age, when we know so much about DNA. There should at least be some rule which says that you must have a DNA examination before your marriage can be registered,” said Flather.

First cousin marriages are common to Pakistanis living inside and outside the country and despite several many cases of disabled children, the practice continues on.

Reference

Categories: Asia, Pakistan

2 replies

  1. If we eat too much of Halal food we become obese, which in extreme situations can be even lethal. In similar fashion, we need to realize that frequent cousin marriages certainly lead to problems. Some times big and drastic issues.

    Cousin marriages can offer several social advantages, but, one needs to be able to see any good science with an open mind. For now in my opinion the punch line is that the prevalence of congenital disease in non-cousin marriages is 3% and it is twice as much in cousin marriages.

    I will keep updating this comment of mine over time and add links to useful information in here.

    The risk of congenital problems is 3% in general marriages and doubles in cousin marriages and perhaps increases further if there are repeated cousin marriages in the family.

    Read an important news item in the Guardian:

    Marriage between first cousins doubles risk of birth defects, say researchers

    If anyone must do cousin marriage and have resources and money, they should consider test tube baby after genetic testing, this will almost completely take out any risk from cousin marriage plus more. The way to go if you have money.

    To begin to know about genetic issues begin to read Lee Silver.

    Lee M. Silver (born 1952) is an American biologist. He is a professor at Princeton University in the Department of molecular biology of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He also has joint appointments in the Program in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy, the Center for Health and Wellbeing, the Office of Population Research, and the Princeton Environmental Institute, all at Princeton University.

    Silver is the author of the book Remaking Eden: How Genetic Engineering and Cloning Will Transform the American Family (1998). In the book he takes a positive view on human cloning, designer babies and similar prospects. In this book he coined the term reprogenetics to describe the prospective fusion of reproductive technologies and genetics, which will allow positive eugenic actions on an individual level.

    His most recent book, Challenging Nature: The Clash of Science and Spirituality at the New Frontiers of Life, was released in June 2006.

    Silver is the co-founder of GenePeeks, a genetic research company which owns a simulation for screening genetic disorders.

    Suggested Reading
    PGD, Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis for Genetic Disorders Preventing genetic diseases by testing IVF embryos

    New Tech Allows Parents Genetic ‘Preview’ Before Conception

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s