Inbreeding among Muslims, as described by “Prof. Steve Jones, one of Britain’s most eminent scientists,” at least among simple villagers, is a reality with which I’m personally familiar.
The geneticist said that it was common in the Islamic world for men to marry their nieces and cousins.
He said that Bradford has a particular problem and warned that it could affect the health of children born into these marriages.
Prof Jones, who lectures at University College London, is likely to find himself at the centre of controversy in the wake of the comments.
Similar remarks made by Phil Woolas, a Labour environment minister, in 2008 resulted in calls for him to be sacked from the government.
Prof Jones, who writes for the Telegraph’s science pages, told an audience at the Hay Festival: “There may be some evidence that cousins marrying one another can be harmful. …
My late stepfather was an Israeli doctor, who worked in the “occupied” territories, specifically in the villages of Tira, Tulkarem and the Jenin neighborhood. The Triangle, it was called. He was, incidentally, beloved by his patients, who were very hospitable to us, the family. We’d be invited to many a wedding. They’d always send him home with magnificent produce as a sign of their appreciation.
Violence was almost unheard of then. Maybe because of a mighty Israeli presence. In any event, approve of it or not, after Occupation, the villagers got potable water, sewer services—before that human waste ran down the streets—and a clinic run by my devoted step dad and his staff, fine people all. I knew them all, down to the ambulance driver.
As a doctor for the villagers, my stepdad was tasked with reducing inbreeding. As you can imagine, it caused a variety of abnormalities. (I had considered doing my high-school, biology graduation thesis on his statistically significant achievements.)
The other ghastly labor of love the poor man performed is described in the 2003 column, “THE RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL FEMINIST”:
One of the activities my stepfather undertook (but didn’t have to) was to surgically stitch up the hymens of young girls so as to prevent their barbaric mothers and fathers from slaying them. He was always very sad when his secret patchwork failed to convince the family, and the girl was found the next day with the traditional axe in her spine. Sometimes a virgin was slaughtered if she didn’t bleed “sufficiently” on her wedding night. …