U.K.’s Pakistani Problem: Cousins Marrying Cousins
I’m a believer in cultural superiority. I don’t believe that just because a culture is different, it automatically qualifies as equal with no footnotes added whatsoever. Call it racism, it’s not, and what about this:
As a Jew, I find Hasidic Judaism’s divorce laws…granting most all practical rights to the man and none to the woman…totally barbaric. I find America’s secular laws relating to divorce far superior to the Hasids, and I feel no shame or guilt in criticizing “my people” for it. I also believe it’s wrong for the Iranian government to hang homosexuals from lampposts, and I consider my culture superior to theirs for us not doing so. (Plus, I believe the Jewish food culture stinks compared to that of the Italians’.)
If you can’t accept that cultural superiority is a real thing, stop reading right now and don’t get yourself aggravated by going any further.
That being said, and because you obviously agree with me about cultural superiority since you’re still reading this (or you ignored my advice above), it goes to follow that the emigration of people from certain cultures will either better or worsen the culture of the new host country. An MIT engineering graduate moving to Uganda can help design and build water wells, thus helping the society as a whole and uplifting that culture. A Ugandan cab driver moving to Boston can’t help society by teaching Red Sox fans how to slaughter a goat in a one-bedroom apartment without getting blood on the walls. (If you can’t see the difference here, you should really stop reading now.)
So let’s go to the U.K. and take a look at why some concerns about Muslim communities in modern Western societies isn’t Islamophobia, but common sense:
Did you know that many Pakistani Muslims marry their first cousins, and it’s perfectly legal? I assume you know that first cousins marrying poses enormous genetical damage risk to their offspring, correct? So why do Pakistanis do it, despite the evidence, and why does the U.K. allow it?
First and foremost, Pakistanis marry their first cousins because they believe that no one can love them any better than “someone in the family.” (Okay, so they don’t get any points for self-esteem.) One of the other reasons for cousins marrying is arranged marriages. It’s easier to finally get the kid out of the house by calling your sister and asking:
”Hey! What is your daughter Rashida doing today? My son Abdul wants to get married! I’m pretty sure they already have the hots for each other, because remember that time we gave them a bath together when they were five!?”
The younger generation are often forced into these marriages by way of blackmail, coercion, family honor, and a feeling of debt to the family. The U.K. even has a Forced Marriages Unit (yes, there is such a thing), and half of their average 2,000 cases involve Pakistanis.
Finally, Pakistani Muslims marry their first cousins because Islam says it’s okay to do so, and while other religious denominations may not specifically forbid first cousin marriage in their original holy texts, most if not all have made it a part of their doctrines not to do so, since science has advanced and the facts are loud and clear.
And with the facts loud and clear, a 25% minimum chance of having a genetically damaged child when cousin marries cousin, consider these facts and figures for the last time serious studies were done in the U.K.:
In Bradford, England, 75% of Pakistani Muslims marry a first cousin. In Birmingham, it’s 50%. (That’s a lot of kissing cousins right there, but they’re not just kissing.)
33% of all genetic diseases in England result from Pakistani first cousin marriages, while Pakistanis only account for 1.5% of the total population. Pakistani first cousin children suffer from learning disabilities three times as often as other groups.
It’s not uncommon for first cousins who, after having a genetically disabled child, their first child, have more children, even though the evidence is right there in the very beginning that each of the parents carries a damaging recessive gene. It’s therefore also not uncommon to see families where two out of four, three out of six, of the children are genetically damaged.
These Muslims just trust in God that their kids will be okay. In fact, you even have intelligent Pakistanis, seriously educated people, who because of their own successes in first cousin marriages (kids who appear to be healthy now), totally deny any medical/scientific danger at all. Their culture takes precedence over common sense. And before you book your next 5-star vacation to Islamabad, consider that if these horrors ongoing on in the developed world of the U.K., can you imagine what the hell is going on in Pakistan!?
The costs to the U.K.’s national health service and other social services is astronomical for all this, but what about these poor, suffering, doomed kids?
A small minority in the Pakistani Muslim community, including some religious leaders, highly discourage the practice of first cousin marriage, and at the very least, strongly recommend pre-pregnancy genetic testing. However, genetic testing only reveals half of the potential abnormalities, and most Pakistanis ignore any alarming test results anyway, because it’s all in God’s hands.
I was amazed to learn than even in parts of the U.S., first cousin marriages are still allowed without restriction, and allowed in some others with required prenuptial DNA testing. However…
We don’t have a predominant culture of first cousin marriage in modern day America, and we certainly don’t encourage it. Those jokes about Appalachia are just jokes now, but maybe I should look into it further! And maybe we should also look into large Pakistani Muslim communities here in the U.S. to see who’s marrying who.
Unfortunately, like the U.K., it’s politically incorrect to do so, because that’s just Islamophobia, and all cultures are totally equal, correct?