Australian Islamist Monitor

Islam Under Scrutiny

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Keeping it in the Family

E-mail Print PDF
Marriage between relatives, usually cousins, in Arab and Muslim societies is common and sanctioned underCousin Marriage shariah because Mohammed, the perfect man, married his cousin, Zainab bint Jahsh. It is also legal under our law, but not terribly common. Such marriages ensured the wealth stayed within the family, and that the marriage partner was well known to the family. Of course, when people lived in small villages and travel was difficult, it was probable that the only available partners were family members.

However, there is evidence that the product of such marriages suffer disproportionate risks of genetic disorders, and the risk increases down the bloodline with each successive relative marriage. In Saudi Arabia, where cousin marriage is common, authorities are beginning to realise the consquences of such unions.

“Spinal muscular atrophy and the gene that causes it, along with several other serious genetic Forced Marriagedisorders, are common in Saudi Arabia, where women have an average of six children and where in some regions more than half of the marriages are between close relatives.

Across the Arab world today an average of 45 percent of married couples are related, according to Dr. Nadia Sakati, a pediatrician and senior consultant for the genetics research center at King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh. Widespread inbreeding in Saudi Arabia has produced several genetic disorders, Saudi public health officials said, including the blood diseases of thalassemia and sickle cell anemia, and spinal muscular atrophy and diabetes. Dr. Sakati said she had also found links between inbreeding and deafness and muteness.

''Saudi Arabia is a living genetics laboratory,'' said the executive director of the Prince Salman Center for Disability Research, Dr. Stephen R. Schroeder, an American geneticistr. ''Here you can look at 10 families to study genetic disorders, where you would need 10,000 families to study disorders in the United States.''

Testing could identify couples who test positive for serious diseases. Under a fatwa issued by the World Islamic League in 1990, Islam permits abortions up to 120 days after conception if an unborn child tests positive for a serious disorder. (reference)

In my home country of England, there were many instances of genetic defects among Pakistanis, many of whom married cousins. Of course, apart from culture, marrying a cousin was also a way of bringing the extended family into England.

British Pakistanis are 13 times more likely to have children with genetic disorders than the general population - they account for just over 3% of all births but have just under a third of all British children with such illnesses.

A BBC Newsnight programme estimated that at least 55% of British Pakistanis are married to first cousins and the tradition is common among some South Asian and Middle Eastern communities.

 

Costs of Inbreeding
Smile twists across Kaled Assoum's face. Lying in his cot, he gurgles happily as his mother, Randa, tickles his belly and kisses him on the face. The eight-year-old, pictured above with his grandmother, was born with severe intellectual and physical disabilities. He cannot walk, talk, and feeds through a tube in his stomach. He has the mental capacity of a one-year-old.
 FROM The Sun-Herald (Sydney, 28th May, 2006), pages 79-80 
  
 
Communities that practice cousin marriage experience higher levels of some very rare but very serious illnesses, known as recessive genetic disorders. A Labour MP Ann Cryer, whose Bradford constituencey has a high rate of cousin marriages (an estimated three out of four marriages within its Pakistani community are between first cousins), is calling for an end to the practice.

 

"As we address problems of smoking, drinking, obesity, we say it's a public health issue, and therefore we all have to get involved with it in persuading people to adopt a different lifestyle.. They must look outside the family for husbands and wives for their young people."


Birmingham Primary Care Trust estimates that one in ten of all children born to first cousins in the city either dies in infancy or goes on to develop serious disability as a result of a recessive genetic disorder.

In the general population the likelihood of a couple having the same variant gene is a hundred to one. In cousin marriages, it is more like one in eight.  (reference)

Even in Australia, this problem is beginning to surface, mainly among Lebanese Muslims in Sydney's western suburbs, where doctors have found high rates of infant death and birth defects in children born to first cousins. A study at Auburn Hospital published in 2001found almost 20 % of pregnant women admitted to the maternity ward in one year were married to their first or second cousins,  and that babies were three times more likely to be born with birth defects and six times more likely to die in the womb or in infancy than babies in the general population.

Fifteen babies bom to couples related by birth (sometimes termed ‘kissing cousins’) had severe defects, including heart, kidney and liver function problems. Among non-cousin couples there were five disabled babies - one with a cleft lip and two with club feet. Of those babies that died - six in total - all were bom to kissing couples.

Given the typical Western view of such marriages, one might expect that most of these people were first generation immigrants. However the opposite appears to be the case, with the proportion of pregnant women who were consanguineously married increasing from 11 per cent in the 1980s to 19.6 per cent in 1999.

“Westmead Children's Hospital geneticist David Sillence said the issue of marriage between blood relatives was extremely sensitive in communities in which it was practised, including Lebanese, Turkish, Iraqi, Iranian and Pakistani.”


It is understandable that families want to continue cultural traditions, but geneticist Professor David Sillence believes consanguinity may have outlived its usefulness. "Consanguinity doesn't necessarily preserve marriages anymore and it doesn't necessarily protect women from abuse within the family It puts women in a relationship within their household where they not only have a husband but a father-in-law who is related to them because he is the uncle and there is increased pressure on them.

 

 Kaled'd father Mohammed says: "From the beginning I was a bit sad and she was abased. She started crying but I said in the end we can't do anything. That's how God created him. Even if we cry from now on until 100 years, you can't do anything .''
FROM The Sun-Herald (Sydney, 28th May, 2006), pages 79-80

Dr Kristine Barlow-Stewart, from the centre for Genetics Education, says the vast majority of children are born healthy.

 

"The risk of having a [disabled] child when the parents are first cousins is around 5-6 per cent. but "The problem is that where there is a tradition for relatives to marry, you'll get the grandparents who are first cousins, the parents who are first cousins and the children who are first cousins. Then the chance of them sharing the same faulty gene is compounded and there risk is much greater than the 5to 6 per cent risk." (source)



and “The Family Ties that Bind” (28th May, 2006), The Sun Herald, reported:

It is clear that the practice of cousins marrying places an extra strain on already-scarce health and welfare resources.

(reference)

Is this a public health issue that Rudd should be addressing, just as he is addressing obesity?
Should this become a factor in deciding whether to allow people into the country?
Can Australia support the extra financial burden, especially in these times of economic downturn?

What do readers think?


 Additional Readings:

1. Blindness due to consanguineous marriages

2. First Cousins and Marriage

3. Consanguinity prevents Middle Eastern political development

4. Consanguinity among the Saudi Arabian population

5. The Prevalence And Correlates Of Consanguineous Marriages In Yemen: Similarities And Contrasts With Other Arab Countries

Last Updated on Monday, 25 August 2008 02:58  

AIM Listed by NLA

pandora

Australian Islamist Monitor's web publications were selected for preservation by the National Library of Australia. Access to our materials stored in the NLA Archive is facilitated in two ways: via the Library’s online catalogue; and via subject and title lists maintained on the PANDORA home page.
Click HERE for direct access to the archive

Islam Kills

History - Articles

Lest We Forget the Battle of Tours

Attention: open in a new window. PDF | Print | E-mail

History - Violent Jihad

Australians celebrate and revere Anzac Day on April 25th each year in remembrance of our brave soldiers who fought in two great world wars to secure our freedom. Every Australian identifies with the slogan “lest we forget” and in services held around the country people reflect on the battles and men who died to secure our freedom. Yet across the world in France, there is one remarkable battle which helped form the Europe we know today and allowed the development of civilization based on Judeo Christian principles. This one famous battle has become known as the battle of Tours and effectively stopped the Muslim advance into Europe. After the death of Mohammed in 632AD, Muslim armies exploded out of the Arabian peninsula to conquer much of the Middle East, expanding across north Africa. From there they crossed into Spain in 711AD and eventually controlled much of al-Andalus by 715AD. It was the victory at Tours by Charles Martel that stemmed the tide and eventually the Muslim marauders were expelled from Spain in 1492 when the last outpost at Granada fell to King Ferdinand of Spain. 

Read more

Shivaji’s Coronation Laudatory Landmark

Attention: open in a new window. PDF | Print | E-mail

History - Infidels' Resistance

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was born, lived, fought and won battles against religious and social oppression in the 17th century Bharat or India. He was a shining star in the Indian firmament and is renowned as a champion of the downtrodden and depressed masses. He was and continues to be an icon for the classes and masses alike and is seen as a rallying point for peasants oppressed by foreign rulers, Pathans and Moghuls alike. Sexually exploited women found in Shivaji Raje a protector, a benefactor and flocked to his Hindavi Swaraj to find solace and feel liberated under his saffron flag. 

Read more


Ransomer of Captives from the Muslims

Attention: open in a new window. PDF | Print | E-mail

History - Tolerance Myths

Perhaps some readers might be interested to know that January 28 is considered a feast day among Catholics – actually 2 feast days are celebrated on the same day – one is of ST Thomas Aquinas, the great medieval theologian and philosopher who adapted Aristotle to the western Judeo-Christian worldview. . It is also the feast day of a lesser known person – St Peter Nolasco, the great ransomer of captives from the Muslims.

Read more


Islamic Pirates

Attention: open in a new window. PDF | Print | E-mail

History - Violent Jihad

Barbary Corsair
Somalian Islamic Pirates & Lessons from History
 
The dramatic rescue of the American cargo-ship captain Richard Phillips from the hands of Somalian Islamic pirates by the U.S. Navy—killing three pirates, holding him hostage at gun-point, through precision-targeting—warrants a review of the U.S. struggle with piracy and hostage-taking in North Africa, which ended two centuries ago.

Raiding trade-caravans and hostage-taking for extracting ransom in Islam was started by Prophet Muhammad. Having become powerful and secure after his relocation to Medina from Mecca in 622, Muhammad initiated Jihad or holy war in the form of raids of trade-caravans for earning livelihood for his community. In the first successful raid of a Meccan caravan at Nakhla in December 623, his brigands killed one of the attendants, took two of them captive, and acquired the caravan as “sacred” booty. The captives were ransomed to generate further revenue. Muhammad, later on, expanded this mode of Jihad to raiding non-Muslim communities around Arabia—for capturing their homes, properties and livestock, capturing their women and children as slaves often for ransoming and selling, and imposing extortional taxes—which sometimes involved mass-slaughter of the attacked victims.

Read more


The Battle of Broken Hill

Attention: open in a new window. PDF | Print | E-mail

Battle of Broken Hill Logo
 
The First Islamic Terrorist Attack on Australian Soil
 
On January 1, 1915 two Broken Hill men, both former camel drivers, armed themselves with rifles, an homemade flag bearing Islamic insignia and a large supply of ammunition and launched a surprise attack on the Picnic Train about 3 kilometres outside Broken Hill.

The train carried about 1200 Broken Hill residents to Silverton where a picnic to celebrate the new year was to take place.

The two Muslim men, Gool Mohamed originally a Pashtun tribesman from Afghanistan and Mullah Abdullah from what is known today as Pakistan, decided to wage jihad against Australian infidels after Australia and the Ottoman Empire officially joined the opposite sides in the WWI.

Read more


Jihad Galore

Attention: open in a new window. PDF | Print | E-mail

History - Tolerance Myths

Jihad Galore and the Toledo Whore

Battle of Higueruela

Alhambra - GazelleHow often in conversation with a Muslim, do they quote Spain as the crowning achievement of Islam, where Muslims, Jews and Christians lived in harmony for about 800 years?

And when you mention the killings and massacres, you are told that the Spanish Inquisition was much worse.
This is a misconception, since the Inquisition in Spain was responsible for only between 4,000 and 5,000 lives. [1]

Yet in 1066AD, in a single day, muslims murdered over 4,000 Jews because Vizier Joseph ibn Naghrela had risen to a position greater than them, and of course, this upset the Muslim sensitivities. [2]

Read more


Arabs Hated The Quran

Attention: open in a new window. PDF | Print | E-mail

History - Stolen Heritage

 
How the Arabs Hated The Quran
 
Old Quran

Wh y are you a Muslim?
Musli ms in general love to hear the above question because it has a simple and readymade answer in their minds besides it gives them the opp or t u nity to propagate their religion and talk proudly about Islam.

 

Read more


Lepanto Anniversary

Attention: open in a new window. PDF | Print | E-mail

History - Imperialism

Decisive Victory for the West

At this time of year, it is timely to remember one of the greatest victories of the west against the Islamic world. On the 7th October in 1571, Don Juan and the Holy League, led by Admiral Doria, defeated the larger Ottoman fleet in the Battle of Lepanto, saving Europe from the Turks and militant Islam. The Holy League was a coalition of different armies - of the Republic of Venice, the Papacy (under Pope Pius V), Spain (including Naples, Sicily and Sardinia), the Republic of Genoa, the Duchy of Savoy, the Knights Hospitaller and some others.

Read more


Muslim Jerusalem

Attention: open in a new window. PDF | Print | E-mail

History - Stolen Heritage

Jerusalem - Coat of ArmsWhy do Muslims insist that Jerusalem is their Holy City?
When Mohamed and his faithful followers moved from Mecca to Medina, they found themselves among three Jewish tribes/clans (BANU-L-NADIR, BANU KAINUKA and BANU KURAIZA)  which settled there some time after their expulsion from their homeland and also living there were  two Arab, pagan tribes.

Mohammed, who at this stage needed more followers, decided to win those tribes over and convert them to his newly invented religion.

Islam was yet not as fully developed as we know it today, and Mohammed was still having his sessions with Allah (the Medina period revelations).

Read more


Killing of Banu Quraiza

Attention: open in a new window. PDF | Print | E-mail

History - Imperialism

Did Prophet Muhammad order Killing Surrendered Jews of Banu Quraiza and Khaybar?  A historical Analysis

In the post 9/11 era of this modern-world, Islamists around the globe are busy with ‘damage control utopia’ in order to correct the image of religion Islam. We all know that the nucleus of Islam are: Quran, Hadiths (Sunnah) supported by Islamic histories and biographies recorded by various famous Islamic scholars and historians.

What Mecca?

Attention: open in a new window. PDF | Print | E-mail

History - Early History

A great tragedy of the Islamic control of our universities and political correctness plus the fear of extreme violence if anyone dares question the roots and claims of Islam is ...that nobody dares question the roots and claims of Islam!!!  I want to stimulate interest and offer this summary of information on Mecca from (LINK) which discusses some problems with Muslim claims in a comparison of evidence supporting Islam/Christianity. 

Read more


Yahweh or Hubal

Attention: open in a new window. PDF | Print | E-mail

FlagThere is a very strongly entrenched view among majority of Westerners today that the three main monotheistic religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam share one common God and therefore despite the obvious differences, the core foundation of these three religions is the same. 

Read more