Referring to the culture of Muslim arranged marriages between cousins, environment minister Phil Woolas said: “If you have a child with your cousin the likelihood is there’ll be a genetic problem.”
DAILY MAIL According to today’s Sunday Times, the minister, who represents Oldham East and Saddleworth said “If you talk to any primary care worker they will tell you that levels of disability among the . . . Pakistani population are higher than the general population. And everybody knows it’s caused by first cousin marriage.
“It’s very difficult for people to say ‘you can’t do that’ because it’s a very sensitive, human thing.” “Awareness does need to be raised but we are very aware of the sensitivities,” he added.
If you go into a paediatric ward in Bradford or Keighley you will find more than half of the kids there are from the Asian (MUSLIM) community. Since Asians only represent 20 per cent-30 per cent of the population, you can see that they are over represented. I have encountered cases of blindness and deafness. There was one poor girl who had to have an oxygen tank on her back and breathe from a hole in the front of her neck.
The parents were warned they should not have any more children. But when the husband returned again from Pakistan, within months they had another child with exactly the same condition.
Research for BBC2’s Newsnight in November 2005 showed British Pakistanis accounted for 3.4 per cent of all births but have 30 per cent of all British children with recessive disorders.