Shocking if True: Muslim Inbreeding

by metatron 33 Replies latest jw friends

  • metatron


    I read a brief Muslim Apologia piece on this and found it to be weak. If these numbers are really true, it is shocking. Perhaps there is a better analysis somewhere.


  • bohm

    "Nicolai Sennels is a Danish psychologist who has done extensive research into a little-known problem in the Muslim world: the disastrous causes of Muslim inbreeding brought about by the marriage of first-cousins."

    Question: Is a psychologists the right person to answer questions about the impact of inbreading to the fitness of a gene pool?

    Question: Where does he publish his work?

    Trivia: He is member of a far-right party.

  • wasblind

    There's a family ( Not Muslim ) not to far from where I live.

    the mother and father are related, out of six grown children only two

    can function on their own in society, the other four are on some kind of disability

    and it's not for any physical impairments.

  • tec

    I think first cousins are allowed to marry in at least half of the States, in Canada, In Europe, in Mexico, and wherever else I just don't know the laws about. Chances of birth defects is only just slightly higher than non-first cousin marriages (or why is it so legal everywhere?), so perhaps there is another problem in Wasblind's example.


  • wasblind

    Could be Tec,

    but it's a known fact that they are related, maybe both parents

    carry a gene that they inherited from their family and it affected the children

    I don't know know.

  • bohm

    I can quite clearly remember reading nazi propaganda material from the 30s where inbreading amongst jews was said to have caused their deformaties and retardation.

    so far the two claims are supported by the same amount of scientific evidence.

  • lisaBObeesa
    I can quite clearly remember reading nazi propaganda material from the 30s where inbreading amongst jews was said to have caused their deformaties and retardation.


    That is exactly what this essay is: hate propaganda.

    People who are Muslims are not genetically inferrior to people of other religions. (I can't believe that actually needs to be said, but I guess it does.)

  • VIII

    Link above is for state laws regarding first cousins marrying.

    Personally I wouldn't want to marry any of my cousins. (shudder) (ewww)

    I think that there is a reason the majority US states figured out that close family members should not *reproduce*. Think about it. Try not to use Awake magazine logic.

  • VIII


  • mrsjones5

    What's wrong with cousins marrying?

    October 1, 2004

    Dear Cecil:

    What is the deal with cousins marrying each other? In most states it's against the law. Yet where I am working, in a West African francophone country, there is a saying, "Cousins are made for cousins." Is this practice really genetically unsound, or is that just an American old wives' tale?

    — Jay Davidson, Peace Corps volunteer, Mauritania

    Among the many things Americans just know, without ever having thought about it, is that if first cousins marry, their children will be drooling half-wits. The handful who wonder if there's any logic to this belief probably think: Royal inbreeding. Prince Charles. Case closed.

    As recent events have shown, however, a lot of things we Yanks just know aren't so. The supposed evils of cousin marriage may not be the first one that comes to mind, but it's definitely on the list. In his impressive dissection of the issue, Forbidden Relatives: The American Myth of Cousin Marriage (1996), anthropologist Martin Ottenheimer points out the following little-known facts--little-known, that is, here in the U.S.:

    • The U.S. is virtually alone among developed nations in outlawing marriage among first cousins. European countries have no such prohibition. In some cultures, particularly Islamic ones, first-cousin marriage is encouraged. Even in the U.S. laws forbidding the practice are far from universal. First-cousin marriage is currently illegal or restricted in 31 states. (Some states allow it if there's no chance of procreation--interesting in light of conservative opposition to gay marriage on the grounds that the institution's function is to produce children.) It's legal in the rest--and no, Kentucky and West Virginia aren't among the permissive ones. Try California and New York.
    • First-cousin marriage isn't a surefire recipe for congenital defects. True, marriage among close kin can increase the chance of pathological recessive genes meeting up in some unlucky individual, with dire consequences. The problem isn't cousin marriage per se, however, but rather how many such genes are floating around in the family pool. If the pool's pretty clean, the likelihood of genetic defects resulting from cousin marriage is low. A recent review (Bennett et al, Journal of Genetic Counseling, 2002) says that, on average, offspring of first-cousin unions have a 2 to 3 percent greater risk of birth defects than the general population, and a little over 4 percent greater risk of early death. While those margins aren't trivial, genetic testing and counseling can minimize the danger. An argument can be made that marriages of first cousins descended from strong stock can produce exceptional children. Charles Darwin, for example, married his first cousin Emma, which wasn't at all unusual in their prominent and successful family--their common grandparents were cousins too. Three of Charles and Emma's ten kids died in childhood, it's true, but that was standard for Victorian England; the others went on to productive and in some cases distinguished careers.
    • All kidding aside, the formerly high incidence of congenital defects, specifically hemophilia, among European royal families isn't the classic demonstration of the perils of inbreeding that everybody thinks it is. The short explanation is that hemophilia is an X-chromosome-related characteristic, transmitted only through the female line. The children of royal female carriers would have been at risk no matter whom their mothers had married.

    Why are Americans and their legal system so phobic about first-cousin marriage while Europeans aren't? Ottenheimer blames several factors. First, bad research in the 19th century greatly exaggerated the dangers of imbecility, blindness, etc, among children of close kin. This research was eventually discredited in Europe, but Americans and their state legislators never got the word. Second, cousin marriage in the U.S. was considered a sign of barbarism (probable translation: hillbillies did it). In Europe, on the other hand, particularly in Mediterranean cultures, cousin marriage had a long and reasonably respectable history, although it's rare today. Finally, European deep thinkers contended that certain forms of cousin marriage increased social cohesion. No such positive arguments were advanced in the States.

    Let me emphasize we're talking strictly about cousin marriage here. The incest taboo regarding parent-child and sibling unions is still strong in Europe and most other places. Setting aside the issue of exploitation where minor children are concerned, such unions have a much higher risk of "adverse medical outcome"--7 to 31 percent, according to Bennett et al.

    As for cousin marriage--admit it, you admire me for keeping the word "kissin'" out of this discussion--Ottenheimer thinks U.S. laws against it ought to be repealed. I'm not seeing it: Jerry Lee Lewis got a buttload of flak for marrying his first cousin once removed in 1957, and the uproar over gay marriage suggests that rewriting the rules about whom one may properly wed is likely to be a tough sell now. Still, the issue reminds us of the importance of asking, when confronted with some instance of conventional wisdom: Says who?

    — Cecil Adams

    That being said I love my cousins but I sure as hell have never wanted to marry any of them.

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