Lise Egholm, longtime school leader in the Muslim-dominated area of Nørrebro in Copenhagen, Denmark, recently warned against not talking about the widespread practise of inbreeding among Muslims: “A study shows that infant mortality doubles, along with a high risk of congenital malformations, also that increased birth defect rates and inheritance of recessive traits are more common in consanguineous marriages. I think it’s time to express concern. We must talk about this problem. All parents want healthy children. Fortunately, we live in a society where our health system does much to ensure that a pregnancy ends with a viable child. What amazes me and has made me wonder for years is why we do not talk about, maybe they even ban, the many cousin marriages?”
While health systems in otherwise less-developed countries in the Muslim world are openly discussing and warning against consanguineous marriages, it is considered politically incorrect in the West to regard as a problem the vast genetic and societal difficulties resulting from this religious-cultural practise.
Statistical research on Arabic countries shows that up to 34 percent of all marriages in Algiers are consanguineous (cousin marriages), 46 percent in Bahrain, 33 percent in Egypt, 80 percent in Nubia (southern area in Egypt), 60 percent in Iraq, 64 percent in Jordan, 64 percent in Kuwait, 42 percent in Lebanon, 48 percent in Libya, 47 percent in Mauritania, 54 percent in Qatar, 67 percent in Saudi Arabia, 63 percent in Sudan, 40 percent in Syria, 39 percent in Tunisia, 54 percent in the United Arab Emirates and 45 percent in Yemen (Reproductive Health Journal, 2009 Consanguinity and reproductive health among Arabs). In Pakistan, 70 percent of marriages are consanguineous, and in Turkey, the percentage is 25-30. There seems to be no national data on Indonesia, but there are reports on 17 percent consanguinity on East Timor and a “high level of consanguineous marriages in some areas of Java.”