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Outlawing first cousin marriages was a good thing

First cousin marriages were recently linked to higher birth defects in Pakistani communities in Britain. Research has shown Pakistanis 13 times more likely to have children with recessive disorders than the general population. This is cruel for the child and parents and diverts enormous tax resources to their care.

But first cousin marriages produce social problems besides. Cousin marriages, arranged marriages, ghettos and the second-class status of women are all related.

Individuals trapped by cousin marriage and arranged marriages live under the thumb of the most powerful males in their families. They are unable to escape their families, and have little scope for independent action. They are turned inward, rather than turning outward. British social anthropologist Roger Ballard's decades-long work into Muslim and non-Muslim immigrant assimilation in Britain has shown that a Muslim preference for marriage with cousins has walled off Muslim immigrants in Britain into ghettos from which there is no escape as long as cousin marriages remain the norm.

The Church outlawed first cousin marriage in Europe a millennium ago and the prohibition was long accepted in Britain. Outlawing cousin marriage achieved several advantages –

1) Genetic health increased

2) Young men and women were less dominated by their families, and were able to live more creatively, productively and happily.

3) Money and success were able to flow through all levels of society more easily.

More thoughts on cousin marriage here.