We must outlaw first-cousin marriages as astonishingly two thirds of new mothers in Bradford are married to their cousins causing death and disability to babies
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These are astonishing stats. In Bradford two thirds of the new mothers are married to their first or second cousins, a fact which increases the risk of their babies dying or having disabilities.
The massively multi-cultural city in south Yorkshire is not the only place where baby deaths and illnesses are being blamed on close kin marriages.
Birmingham has announced a task force to investigate high levels of infant mortality as newborn deaths in the city are twice the national average.
I am grateful that Nazir Afzal, a former chief prosecutor in the North West, who wants to look at banning first-cousin marriages in the same way incest is outlawed.
“We are tired of burying our babies,” he said.
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Photo Credit: Charlie Forgham-Bailey
Mr Afzal said it was “ridiculous” that cultural sensitivity stopped people talking about a problem that had been “in plain sight” for years bringing misery to a number of families.
Babies born to cousin marriages can suffer what is called “recessive” genetic disorders associated with severe disability and early death.
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I salute Mr Afzal raising the issue as it is considered taboo among Muslim families to criticise first cousin union. He is accused of targeting “disabled children.”
How ridiculous. These marriage should be banned immediately. It would sail through the Commons.
Apart from the family heartbreak of losing a baby what about the ongoing cost to the state of raising a disabled child due to the selfishness of the parents who are quite well aware of the risks.
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