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← [UPDATE] Steve Jones "risks political storm over Muslim 'inbreeding'."

[UPDATE] Steve Jones "risks political storm over Muslim 'inbreeding'." - Comments

the great teapot's Avatar Comment 1 by the great teapot

Comment Removed by Author

Sun, 29 May 2011 09:30:04 UTC | #632001

paul686s's Avatar Comment 2 by paul686s

One obvious danger of this practice is getting two copies of the gullibility gene!

Sun, 29 May 2011 09:32:05 UTC | #632003

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 3 by Cartomancer

It really is coming to something when a person can get pilloried for simply standing up and pointing out that certain cultural practices are harmful. In a more enlightened world the isolated communities where this sort of inbreeding is rife would thank Professor Jones for indicating this problem to them, and try to work towards a solution.

Sun, 29 May 2011 09:33:34 UTC | #632004

the great teapot's Avatar Comment 4 by the great teapot

Within the city 70 per cent of marriages are within the family? What percentage of marriages are non Muslim. I doubt the accuracy of that statement.

Sun, 29 May 2011 09:35:32 UTC | #632005

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 5 by Richard Dawkins

Note that Wynne-Jones, who is the Telegraph's Religious Affairs Correspondent, cites no evidence that Steve has stirred any controversy by his remarks. Instead, he says "Prof Jones . . . is likely to find himself at the centre of controversy in the wake of the comments." Just your opinion, then, Jonathan, and you seem to be doing your best to make it a self-fulling prophecy.

As for what Steve actually said, it seems to be not personal opinion but a matter of observable fact. However, that is not a distinction likely to appeal to a 'Religious Affairs Correspondent', nor, I suppose, to an Islamic 'scholar'.

Sun, 29 May 2011 09:36:17 UTC | #632006

Dirty Kuffar's Avatar Comment 6 by Dirty Kuffar

Here are a few other news reports on the issue that shed more light on cousin marraige/inbreeding ; http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/7957808/700-children-born-with-genetic-disabilities-due-to-cousin-marriages-every-year.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/7497906/Baroness-Deech-Risks-of-cousin-marriage-not-discussed-for-fear-of-offending-Muslims.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1578191/Minister-warns-of-in-breeding-risk-for-Muslims.html

This is obviously a medically proven social disaster, that as well as being a tragedy for the poor kids born with birth defects (or their parents who may very well have been coerced into a forced or arranged marraige with their cousins), is also a tremendous drain on NHS resources. I'd suggest that, as with incest, it should be banned without further delay.

Sun, 29 May 2011 10:14:29 UTC | #632010

TheRationalizer's Avatar Comment 7 by TheRationalizer

I think it would have been more accurate for Steve Jones to say that cultures that operate a dowry system are the problem rather than specifically naming Islam (if that is what he did.)

Sun, 29 May 2011 10:20:28 UTC | #632013

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 8 by Peter Grant

It almost seems as if the various religions are deliberately getting rid of all the lethal recessives in order to build clone armies of gullible fools to pit against each other.

Sun, 29 May 2011 10:27:03 UTC | #632014

Hariseldonsays's Avatar Comment 9 by Hariseldonsays

I'm living in the Qatar at the moment and the problem became so great that that couples are now DNA tested before they are allowed to marry. Marrying first cousins is actively and officially discouraged.

The rate of autism and diabetes are recognised to be abnormally high, although the later may well be linked to diet. Physical and mental disability among the fairly small Qatari population are a known issue.

If it can be said in a farly conservative islamic country then it can be said in the UK.

HSS

p.s I saw copies of what looked to be the blindwatchmaker (judging by the illustrations) in the local virgin store with Prof Dawkins picture on and translated into arabic. A whole shelf full in fact.

Sun, 29 May 2011 10:29:20 UTC | #632016

mmurray's Avatar Comment 10 by mmurray

Comment 9 by Hariseldonsays :

p.s I saw copies of what looked to be the blindwatchmaker (judging by the illustrations) in the local virgin store with Prof Dawkins picture on and translated into arabic. A whole shelf full in fact.

You can buy virgins in shops in Qatar ? I though that kind of thing had been banned.

Sorry silly joke. Interesting that they can make cousins marrying in Qatar have genetic tests. Imagine the outrage if a western country tried this.

Michael

Sun, 29 May 2011 10:35:52 UTC | #632020

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 11 by Stevehill

Science is neither politically correct nor incorrect. It deals only in facts. If the infant mortality rate, in Britain, is double as a result of these traditions, the traditions have to be abandoned and/or legislation is required to prevent these avoidable deaths in future (by banning these types of marriage).

Sun, 29 May 2011 10:41:57 UTC | #632023

sunbeamforjeebus's Avatar Comment 12 by sunbeamforjeebus

This topic has been covered before in similar vein.We had a tv programme here in the U.K.conducted by a female jounalist of Indian and muslim background.Various medical experts agreed on the problem and the journalist was able to visit many families in Bradford who had very severely handicapped children due to marrying cousins.She was shown presenting the stark facts to a panel of imams and local muslim leaders and scholars.ALL of them denied there was a problem,All of them accused the doctors who advised,of Islamophobia and all refused to accept the statistics as true.

Sun, 29 May 2011 10:55:36 UTC | #632027

danconquer's Avatar Comment 13 by danconquer

I did not previously consider this unsustainable problem (for that is precisely what it is) to be a specifically Islamic one, but rather one that is rooted in the Indian subcontinent, particularly in northern states, which comes about from families, Hindu and Sikh also, attempting to mitigate the oppressive and crippling custom of dowries.

Sun, 29 May 2011 11:12:59 UTC | #632030

Vicktor's Avatar Comment 14 by Vicktor

So what does he suggest Pakistani men in Britain do? Marry white women?

Sun, 29 May 2011 11:31:40 UTC | #632035

mmurray's Avatar Comment 15 by mmurray

It seems the situation is more complex than just Islam or cousins marrying:

The increased mortality and birth defects observed among British Pakistanis may, however, have another source besides current consanguinity. This is population subdivision among different Pakistani groups. Population subdivision results from decreased gene flow among different groups in a population. Because members of Pakistani biradari have married only inside these groups for generations, offspring have higher average homozygosity even for couples with no known genetic relationship.[194] According to a statement by the UK's Human Genetics Commission on cousin marriages, the BBC also "fails to clarify" that children born to these marriages were not found to be 13 times more likely to develop genetic disorders. Instead they are 13 times more likely to develop recessive genetic disorders. The HGC states, "Other types of genetic conditions, including chromosomal abnormalities, sex-linked conditions and autosomal dominant conditions are not influenced by cousin marriage." The HGC goes on to compare the biological risk between cousin marriage and increased maternal age, arguing that "Both represent complex cultural trends. Both however, also carry a biological risk. They key difference, GIG argue, is that cousin marriage is more common amongst a British minority population."[195] Genetic effects from cousin marriage in Britain are more obvious than in a developing country like Pakistan because the number of confounding environmental diseases is lower. Increased focus on genetic disease in developing countries may eventually result from progress in eliminating environmental diseases there as well.[196]

wikipedia

Michael

Sun, 29 May 2011 11:38:07 UTC | #632037

ayoungcontrarian's Avatar Comment 16 by ayoungcontrarian

Comment 11 by Stevehill :

Science is neither politically correct nor incorrect. It deals only in facts. If the infant mortality rate, in Britain, is double as a result of these traditions, the traditions have to be abandoned and/or legislation is required to prevent these avoidable deaths in future (by banning these types of marriage).

The best bet is going to be in trying to actively encourage breeding a little further out. First cousin marriage will not be banned - because it's the closest Biblically sanctioned marriage and frankly in with the bricks now. Even that eminently civilised man, Charles Darwin, enjoyed copulating and reproducing with his first cousin, knowing even at the time some of the perceived risks.

And I imagine the issue here isn't just that the odd couple are cousins - it's that cousin couples are having children who are growing up to marry their cousins, who are in turn having children who grow up to marry cousins… I'm not sure how you'd legislate against that without infringing individual liberties (including the liberty to conform exactly to their family's wishes) at some point in the chain.

As for birth defects - well - you go after the inbreeders, it's only fair you also go after less closely related known carriers of known recessive (X-linked and autosomal) disorders and place limits on their reproductive freedoms, too.

I'm still not sure where I sit on this one. I find the ethics of inbreeding and incest unstraightforward.

Sun, 29 May 2011 11:40:07 UTC | #632038

goddogit's Avatar Comment 17 by goddogit

Hmm. I'd prefer to have Prof. Jones own words, which I have no real doubt would show him making a carefully phrased and accurate scientific observation lacking any racist or Islamophobic overtones, while showing concern for the health and well-being of these communities, than trust some shit article in the Telegraph.

A clever and subtle group of scientists and community leaders likely could help solve this problem within a generation, since there obviously are sensible people in the Islamic community, perhaps even among the imams. And such an approach would be far more likely to sway the more sensible, younger folk away from the non-cultural aspects of Islam.

Certainly the attitude of too many of the comments show an attitude that would solve nothing. And a few have a distinctly... "superior" shall we say... stink to them.

Sun, 29 May 2011 11:43:14 UTC | #632039

mmurray's Avatar Comment 18 by mmurray

Comment 11 by Stevehill :

Science is neither politically correct nor incorrect. It deals only in facts. If the infant mortality rate, in Britain, is double as a result of these traditions, the traditions have to be abandoned and/or legislation is required to prevent these avoidable deaths in future (by banning these types of marriage).

The problem is that you have to be sure the science is right. It is not clear to me that the only cause of increased birth defects is cousins marrying cousins. But even if that is the case it is still not clear it should be banned. The current practice of women having children later in life is a known cause of birth defects but we haven't banned that.

Michael

Sun, 29 May 2011 11:47:10 UTC | #632042

Vicktor's Avatar Comment 19 by Vicktor

Comment 20 by mmurray

Maybe it's convenient for these men to marry their cousins. These are men who are probably virgins well into their 30s and probably don't associate much with women until they actually want to get married. Their cousins may be the most distant women they know well enough to marry. Banning the practice would be cruel. We'd be leaving them, quite literally, with their dicks in their hands.

Sun, 29 May 2011 11:57:47 UTC | #632046

ayoungcontrarian's Avatar Comment 20 by ayoungcontrarian

@ Richard Dawkins

Note that Wynne-Jones, who is the Telegraph's Religious Affairs Correspondent, cites no evidence that Steve has stirred any controversy by his remarks. Instead, he says "Prof Jones . . . is likely to find himself at the centre of controversy in the wake of the comments." Just your opinion, then, Jonathan, and you seem to be doing your best to make it a self-fulling prophecy.

Re-read the article…

Prof Jones, who lectures at University College London, is likely to find himself at the centre of controversy in the wake of the comments.

Similar remarks made by Phil Woolas, a Labour environment minister, in 2008 resulted in calls for him to be sacked from the government.

It's clearly not just opinion but inference. I find nothing really objectionable about the article.

Kudos to mmurray for his objective and illuminating input, too.  

Sun, 29 May 2011 12:01:01 UTC | #632048

passutoba's Avatar Comment 21 by passutoba

Hariseldonsays.....I'm in Doha too......is that the Virgin store in Villagio? That's quite amazing...I've always had a quick hopeful scan of what is really a pretty limited range for RD books, but that's got to be somewhat encouraging. I'm not going to hold my breath for Arabic copies of TGD there........!

Sun, 29 May 2011 12:06:25 UTC | #632051

danconquer's Avatar Comment 22 by danconquer

Comment 22 by ayoungcontrarian :

I find nothing really objectionable about the article. >

Really? A leading scientist gives a talk about genetics, and somehow the story is given to a religious affairs correspondent?! In tomorrow's Maily Telegraph, a story about interest rates is going to be covered by their theatre critic, a story about bishop appointments will be covered by their football correspondent and the latest on the conflict in Libya will be covered by their metereological correspondent.

The headline is idiotic because the job of responsible journalists and journals is to report the facts, not speculate on what may and may not be. Newspapers do not operate in a 'bubble'. They actively influence the course of events and thinking. We all know that when a paper prints a headline which says "So-and-So Risks Fury With Comments About..." that the newspaper is actually helping to generate that 'fury' in a very real sense themselves.

I don't understand why Professor Jones writes for them at all anyway. Surely a more serious newspaper, which displays a higher regard for science, would be willing to pay him a (slightly reduced?) fee for his writing.

Sun, 29 May 2011 12:11:32 UTC | #632052

sanban's Avatar Comment 23 by sanban

The problem is that you have to be sure the science is right. It is not clear to me that the only cause of increased birth defects is cousins marrying cousins.

It's VERY clear that is NOT the case, and Jones said so.

But even if that is the case it is still not clear it should be banned.

I agree. I think the ethics of cousin marriage are still not clear to me.

The current practice of women having children later in life is a known cause of birth defects but we haven't banned that.

No, we haven't, for good reason. It's pretty clear that later marriage and child-bearing is a direct result of female empowerment, a great benefit to society overall. When women are educated and valued in society for more than their breeding potential, they tend to put off child-bearing (and marriage) until much past their prime reproductive years. So we KNOW a woman's risk of bearing a child with genetic disorders rise with every passing year, how do you propose to convince her to bear her desired 2 children by the time she's 26 or so? Drop out of uni? Forego that plum internship? Forget about that Olympic gold or land speed record?

Sun, 29 May 2011 12:28:20 UTC | #632055

ayoungcontrarian's Avatar Comment 24 by ayoungcontrarian

 

 Comment 21 by  Vicktor :

  Comment 20 by mmurray   Maybe it's convenient for these men to marry their cousins. These are men who are probably virgins well into their 30s and probably don't associate much with women until they actually want to get married. 

Colour me cynical, but I imagine most of them cop off with nice Western good time girls and prostitutes long before and probably even after they marry the Stepford cousin wife. However, depending on their upbringing - and how assiduously they consume lowest-common-denominator pornography - they might just consider these other women as nothing more than a series of warm, wet holes into which to insert their penises.

Sexual repression of a culture, and closeting of women, practically never breeds the celibacy and chastity it aspires to, and which it likes to display in the window… 

Sun, 29 May 2011 12:32:22 UTC | #632058

Hariseldonsays's Avatar Comment 25 by Hariseldonsays

Passutoba,

Yes it was in Villagio mall. I don't know if it's still there as the arabic books are now in a distinct section and I didn't look last time I went. I'd say the book selection has declined this year but every now and again I have a scan.

TGD? I think that's asking a bit much of them.

HSS

Sun, 29 May 2011 12:37:15 UTC | #632059

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 26 by Stafford Gordon

Observable facts are such a dreadful inconvenience aren't they! Especially if you have a PhD in MTUAP (Making Things Up And Pretending).

Sun, 29 May 2011 12:37:29 UTC | #632060

seals's Avatar Comment 27 by seals

I'm never sure if an acknowledged contrarian really means what they say or are just saying it for the sake of being a contrarian ;)

I'm torn about this situation. On one hand, apart from NHS costs, it's only their own community which is being damaged. If they have been this uptight for generations is there any hope of change now? As one comment at the Telegraph said, do nothing and Mr Darwin will take care of the rest. On the other hand, as long as it continues, there will be casualties, costs and there will continue to be us and them - separate populations with no intermingling. (Isn't that how different species emerge? or will the similarity of other pressures prevent that happening?) Since muslims are mostly non-indigenous (as far as anyone can be said to be indigenous) to the British Isles, I think there would be more chance of integration if an intermediate healthier population midway between the indigenous and the non-indigenous were to emerge. But it appears for now anyway that nothing could be further from their thoughts.

Sun, 29 May 2011 12:42:09 UTC | #632061

Vicktor's Avatar Comment 28 by Vicktor

Comment 26 by ayoungcontrarian

Then there should be higher incidences of STDs among them too, which I am not sure is the case.

Sun, 29 May 2011 12:42:28 UTC | #632062

ayoungcontrarian's Avatar Comment 29 by ayoungcontrarian

Comment 24 by danconquer :

Comment 22 by ayoungcontrarian :

I find nothing really objectionable about the article. >

Really? A leading scientist gives a talk about genetics, and somehow the story is given to a religious affairs correspondent?! In tomorrow's Maily Telegraph, a story about interest rates is going to be covered by their theatre critic, a story about bishop appointments will be covered by their football correspondent and the latest on the conflict in Libya will be covered by their metereological correspondent.

Don't be silly. You know full well that the reason it's been put down as religious affairs is that it involves a particular religious grouping in this case. It is religion that is doing it, as it were. You'd probably be the first to cry foul if you saw issues of religious sectarianism filed under 'politics', or something…

Sun, 29 May 2011 12:43:34 UTC | #632063

ayoungcontrarian's Avatar Comment 30 by ayoungcontrarian

Comment 30 by Vicktor :

Comment 26 by ayoungcontrarian

Then there should be higher incidences of STDs among them too, which I am not sure is the case.

From what I gather, many Muslim men 'playing away' tend at least to be insistent on using condoms for their illicit liaisons - and no matter the statistics that anyone quotes - used properly, condoms are very reliable.

Just anecdotes, though - perhaps a more in-depth study would reveal a clearer picture. Maybe young men of Pakistani origin are indeed seen in large droves, shuffling nervously through the side-doors of clap clinics countrywide…

Sun, 29 May 2011 13:06:42 UTC | #632071