A government minister has warned that inbreeding among immigrants is causing a surge in birth defects - comments likely to spark a new row over the place of Muslims in British society.Of course, with the government-run National Health Service in Britain, it's the British taxpayers who pick up the tab for all those birth defects.
Phil Woolas, an environment minister, said the culture of arranged marriages between first cousins was the “elephant in the room”. Woolas, a former race relations minister, said: “If you have a child with your cousin the likelihood is there’ll be a genetic problem.”
The minister, whose views were supported by medical experts this weekend, said: “The issue we need to debate is first cousin marriages, whereby a lot of arranged marriages are with first cousins, and that produces lots of genetic problems in terms of disability [in children].”
Woolas emphasised the practice did not extend to all Muslim communities but was confined mainly to families originating from rural Pakistan. However, up to half of all marriages within these communities are estimated to involve first cousins.
Medical research suggests that while British Pakistanis are responsible for 3% of all births, they account for one in three British children born with genetic illnesses.
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He added that the issue is not talked about. “The health authorities look into it. Most health workers and primary care trusts in areas like mine are very aware of it. But it’s a very sensitive issue. That’s why it’s not even a debate and people outside of these areas don’t really know it exists.”
Woolas was supported by Ann Cryer [Who was muzzled more than two years ago for broaching the subject. --ed.], Labour MP for Keighley, who called for the NHS to do more to warn parents of the dangers of inbreeding.
“This is to do with a medieval culture where you keep wealth within the family,” she said.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
According to a Times of London article, the issue of Muslim inbreeding is the "elephant in the room" that nobody likes to talk about.