all in the family

According to a news item, there are suggestions in the U.K. to ban cousin marriages. Those who want this miss the whole point. The problem is amplified in case of marriage between two first cousins, both of whose parents as well as grandparents were also first cousins.

This is what has happened in the case of Pakistani Muslims, and this is the reason for the unusually large number of defective children being born to British Pakistani parents (as well as a significant population in rural Pakistan being mentally retarded). There is no danger of this happening in marriages between first cousins whose parents and grandparents were not first cousins.

The Friday Times, May 23-29, 2008