Baroness Deech a leading family lawyer and crossbench peer is set to call for a campaign to deter first cousin marriages amongst British Muslims which London Muslim supports. In particular I warmly welcome the call for testing of genetic defects and the establishment of a register of people carrying genetic diseases to prevent two carriers from marrying.
The practice appears to be largely a British Pakistani Muslim one with in some areas like Bradistan up to 75% of couples marrying their first cousins. The health implications of child defects and serious genetic disorder are beyond doubt with some figures indicating that British Pakistanis, half of whom appear to be the victim of cousin marriages are up to 13 times more likely to produce children with genetic disorders. In Birmingham one in ten children born to cousin marriages die or suffer from genetic order.
London Muslim urges the British Pakistani Muslim community to start a debate about eradicating this practice for the sake of the children rather than simply thinking of another ruse to get a family member a visa.