Saturday, 20 March 2010

Immigration Creates a Sick Society

Rise in marriages between cousins 'putting children at risk of birth defects', warns Baroness

By Rhianna King
Last updated at 2:19 PM on 20th March 2010

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Baroness Ruth Deech has called for a campaign to warn migrants of the risks of marriages between cousins

Baroness Ruth Deech has called for a campaign to warn migrants of the risks of marriages between cousins

A rise in the number of marriages between cousins in Britain has prompted calls for a crackdown on the practice amid warnings it is putting children's health at risk.

Crossbench peer Baroness Deech has called for a 'vigorous' public campaign to deter marriages between family members, which is common in Muslim and immigrant communities.

Her comments come as figures show up to 75 per cent of British Pakistanis in some areas are married to first cousins.

In a speech to be made next week, obtained by The Times, the leading family lawyer will warn that such marriages can be a barrier to the integration of minority communities and increases the risk of birth defects in children.

She is also expected to call for testing for genetic defects when marriages between family members are arranged and for a register of people carrying genetic diseases to be set up in order for two carriers not to be introduced.

She said such a scheme could be possible in Bradford, which has the UK's highest population of Pakistanis.

Up to three-quarters of Pakistanis in Bradford are married to their first cousins.

The trend is also evident in Birmingham, where figures show that one in ten of all children born to first cousins died in childhood or suffered from a serious genetic disorder.

British Pakistanis, half of whom marry a first cousin, are 13 times more likely to produce children with genetic disorders than the general population, according to Government-sponsored research.

Although British Pakistanis account for three per cent of the births in this country, they are responsible for 33 per cent of the 15 to 20,000 children born each year with genetic defects.

Baroness Deech will also suggest that married first cousins use in-vitro fertilisation so that embryos can be tested for recessive diseases.

'Human right and religious and cultural practices are respected not by banning cousin marriage,' she will argue.

'But those involved must be made aware of the consequences.'

In next week's speech, she will say that marriages between cousins is on the rise and the practice is 'at odds with freedom of choice, romantic love and integration.'

But she said the practice was continuing because of financial reasons - either to settle debts or provide financial support for relatives abroad; helping relatives to migrate to Britain or wanting to provide a 'ready-made' family for an immigrant spouse.

Lady Deech will also call for an education campaign to warn of the health risks of such marriages, but will stop short of urging a ban.

'There is no reason, one could argue, why there should not be a campaign to highlight the risks and preventative measures, every bit as vigorous as those centring on smoking, obesity and Aids.'
Immigration Minister Phil Woolas caused controversy in 2008 when he warned of birth defects resulting from marriages between cousins

Immigration Minister Phil Woolas caused controversy in 2008 when he warned of birth defects resulting from marriages between cousins

'Where marriages are arranged, it is possible to test for carrier status and record with results, without stigmatising individuals.'

Her speech is set to reignite a debate from five years ago when Ann Cryer, the Labour MP for Keighley in Yorkshire, said cousin marriages were medieval and called for them to be stopped.

Ms Cryer encouraged discussion the issue this week.

'We have been told to be careful, as discussing it could cause deep offence. Blow that, it does not matter. If people wish to be offended, they will be offended.'

Two years ago Minister Phil Woolas provoked a furore by warning of the health risks of cousin marriages among British Pakistanis.

He claimed the practice was sending the number of birth defects among children in these communities soaring.

His comments prompted Gordon Brown's spokesman to state that the issue was not one for ministers to comment on.

Instead, he said, it should be addressed by members of the local community and scientific experts.

Mr Woolas insisted that he had a duty to raise the subject of cousin marriage - which is legal in the UK - based on cultural and not religious grounds.

Muslim Council of Britain spokesman Inyat Bunglawala welcomed Lady Deech's comments.

He said cousin marriage was popular even though Islamic teaching encouraged wedlock outside the immediate family.

'Certainly education has an important role to play in this area. There are clear dangers to marrying a close relative, which need to be better understood.'

Lady Deech's speech is the latest in a series of family law lectures she has given under the auspices of Gresham College.

In a speech last week she said English law no longer had a clear concept of marriage.

She said the traditional Christian image of a lifelong union of man and woman is no longer accurate because of the changing nature of relationships and the introduction of legal rights for same-sex couples.

Lady Deech said she believes that human rights law may soon rule that it is discriminatory to ban homosexuals from marrying in the same way that heterosexual couples do.

But she added that some differences between civil partnerships and marriages should be preserved, and criticised recent Labour laws that allow same-sex couples to be named on birth certificates with no mention of a father.

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Kratos said...

They marry cousins just to bring other family members to the UK at the cost of messing up their grand children. If these people could hardly care about their own children, what would they have or contribute to anybody else?

BNP throwing another election away? said...

After listening to Nicks latest speech i would like to urge him NOT to go with the single issue mantra of `bring our boys home`.
which he says is already the theme of the new leaflets waiting to go out - BIG mistake.

It won't cut it with the public, yet it is a good one but it is not enough on its own and certainly not to bring great results.

While the Public are sick of these wars, the public are FAR more concerned about their finances and immigration.

The war to them is a distant thing that does not touch on many peoples lives in this country.

I urge the BNP as i said before to focus on the fact that the other parties are the same.

Vote daqve get Gordon as i said, it is catchy and it rings true, back it up with the identy policy list, including the wars, that is where we can also catch out UKIP.

But to be honest while this bring our boys home mantra may work againgst ukip? UKIP are NOT our main rivals, seeing as UKIP is more a south tory replacement, attacking UKIP may in fact help the other parties win!

The BNP has a northern base and while many soldiers are from the north, not enough to carry a single issue all the way through.

Our best bet is to go directly for Labour as these are the votes we need to win.

We need to focus everything on Labour and leave the rest to sort itself out.

We need to demoralise their activists, perhaps have a picture of dave and gordon merged together to get the headlines, vote dave get gordon.

I really think this simple slogan and method will stick with the people, then offer them real change.

We did a singkle issue election befor with the homeless soldier song - IT BOMBED!

Don't waste this gift, that they are the same party, nothing more would put of labour voters to know they are the same as voting tory.

However the wars never much dented the labour voters did it!

Please rethink and rethink fast, dont throw the election away on a single issue program, it won't work.


Cukoo said...

Immigration creates a Kosher society, ripe to be repaired under the auspices of Noachide Law, by those interfering and unmentionable mental cases afflicted with 6 degees of MuchChosen by syndrome.

Reject the palliative care of the UK Cukoos nest....Revolt more ye Anglo Saxon and Celt berserkers.