"Preferential patrilateral parallel cousin marriage" - in which the boy marries his father's brother's daughter - is the preference of traditional communities in Pakistan. First cousin marriages are not illegal in the UK, and the odd first cousin marriage in a large mixed society does no great harm overall. But within the Pakistani community such first cousin marriages are repeated generation after generation within a biologically tiny gene pool. Some 55% of Pakistanis in the UK are married to their first cousins; in Bradford more than 75% of all marriages amongst Pakistanis are between first cousins. The result is entirely predictable. Despite forming only 1.5% of the UK's population, Pakistanis have 30% of the country's genetic birth defects and unacceptably high levels of infant mortality. This cannot continue. The human costs alone are grim enough, but the costs to the British taxpayer in picking up the pieces of these cursed unions are astronomical. It has to end.
Channel 4 is screening 'When Cousins Marry' tomorrow at 8pm. It promises to offer a sympathetic insight into the problem. One hopes it will succeed in keeping this subject on the national agenda without us all squirming in discomfort at being thought 'racist' or without advocating more Pakistani immigrants. The answer is that our Pakistani community must start breeding outside their own gene pool; they may argue that increasing immigration from Pakistan is the way to achieve this, we will counter that they must seek partners from within the existing population in the UK, whether they're Pakistani or not.
The programme's webpage is already crowded with comments - mostly supporting an end to the practice, but several supporting it. One from an insider is informative:
As a Teacher of children with severe special needs, working predominantly within the asian community, I am very pleased to see this issue being publicly raised. Along with the distress the child may suffer throughout it's life as the result of a first cousin marriages, society has a huge financial burden to bare in providing the necessary support. These include a huge range of medical interventions, paediatric care, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, specialist teaching support, respite care, transportation, building adaptations etc, etc etc.
And this is the point. In rural Pakistan and Bangladesh, a defective infant will either rapidly expire naturally or be subject to infanticide. In our society, we'll spend a million pounds over its lifetime in giving it the best chance we can. We simply can't afford such third-world 'multicultural' practices so alien to our own culture.