Hay Festival 2011: Professor Risks Political Storm over Muslim ‘Inbreeding’

Jonathan Wynne-Jones, Telegraph (London), May 29, 2011

The geneticist said that it was common in the Islamic world for men to marry their nieces and cousins.

He said that Bradford has a particular problem and warned that it could affect the health of children born into these marriages.

Prof Jones, who lectures at University College London, is likely to find himself at the centre of controversy in the wake of the comments.

Similar remarks made by Phil Woolas, a Labour environment minister, in 2008 resulted in calls for him to be sacked from the government.

Prof Jones, who writes for the Telegraph’s science pages, told an audience at the Hay Festival: “There may be some evidence that cousins marrying one another can be harmful.

“It is common in the Islamic world to marry your brother’s daughter, which is actually closer than marrying your cousin.

“We should be concerned about that as there can be a lot of hidden genetic damage. Children are much more likely to get two copies of a damaged gene.”

He added: “Bradford is very inbred. There is a huge amount of cousins marrying each other there.” Research in Bradford has found that babies born to Pakistani women are twice as likely to die in their first year as babies born to white mothers, with genetic problems linked to inbreeding identified as a “significant” cause.

Studies have found that within the city, more than 70 per cent of marriages are between relations, with more than half involving first cousins.

Separate studies have found that while British Pakistanis make up three per cent of all births, they account for one in three British children born with genetic illnesses. Prof Jones also said that incest was more common than is often realised in every part of society, adding that it had been particular prevalent among royalty and suggested it is still -continuing.

“Royal families are the human equivalent of fruit flies because they do all the sexual experiments you can think of and there are some examples of inbreeding.

“Royalty did it to keep the heritage within the family line.

“Inbreeding doesn’t apply particularly to our own royal family, but there is some.”

He explained that Prince Charles and Diana could both be traced back to Edward I, with Prince Charles being able to do this through 3,000 “lines”–overlapping connections between people in his family tree–and his former wife being able to do it through 4,000, making the Princess of Wales “from stronger aristocratic heritage” than her husband.

“Their parents had much ancestry in common,” he said.

“We are all more incestuous than we realise.

“In Northern Ireland lots of people share the same surname which suggests a high level of inbreeding.

“There’s a lot of surname diversity in London but if you look at the Outer Herbrides there are rather fewer surnames in relation to the number of people.”

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  • Tony Soprano

    As far as I am concerned I could care less whether muslims like to marry their cousins .Just as long as they stay away from our people. This scientist might really be suggesting that muslims should marry white british women. The fact is the european royal family,jews and Hawaians are all inbred. No one seems upset about those facts. But since a bunch of crazy muslims killed 3000 people ten years ago criticism of muslims seems to be off limits. Could be the reason those muslims did such an insane thing was because they were inbred.

  • Anonymous

    In Pakistan microcephalism is a known issue in society with as many as 1 in 5 having some relative within extended families with the problem. Other issues have included spinal defects, deafness and general retardation.

    Of course the incest has a point similar to that of royalty: keeping a limited number of ethnic and tribal businesses under a single family’s control. But in a nation of 170 million it is still a pathetic excuse for

  • Mike H.

    3$ of births but 30% of births with genetics defects. You can’t fake numbers that ridiculous.

    With that being said, it’s amusing how he included the royal family in there. I suppose he felt obligated to mention the british royal family so he wouldn’t JUST be talking about muslims.

    “There may be some evidence that cousins marrying one another can be harmful.”

    MAY? HA! That’s like saying that the racial composition of your neighborhood MAY effect said neighborhood’s crime rate.

  • Ian

    Well, Hollywood might have produced the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but it was based on real-life events in England. Being English myself that gives me a sense of pride. Inbred Pakistani maniacs are everywhere in Bradford, which isn’t too far from the “Slaughtered Lamb” pub of American Werewolf fame…. And if you’re white and stray into the city….you end up on a meat-hook, hoisted up there by a moslem loony in a cowhide mask. Mind you at least they give thanks to Allah before they cut your head off, to keep in with halal law.

  • Anonymous

    “Studies have found that within the city, more than 70 per cent of marriages are between relations, with more than half involving first cousins.”

    I work in Bradford from time to time. There are still white people in the city so the 30% of marriages that are not relations are probably between white couples.

    One thing I do notice. The maternity wards are very large and you never see a white woman on them.

    You often see busses of children with obvious deformaties and special needs. The children are always 100% Asian and the carers are almost always white.

  • Anonymous

    Look at how they try to justify current cousin marriage by calling to things that happened way back in medieval times. I think we advanced since then.

    Cousin marriage isn’t illegal in the West, but people know to avoid it.

    I know a pakistani couple who are cousins, and both sets of their parents are cousins. And the kids – you guessed it – retarded and full of health problems and they don’t understand why.

  • Istvan

    It is really none of the Brits business. If they had left the Pakis in Pakistan this wouldn’t be an issue. But they let them in and now they must deal with it. If little, tiny Britain had remained British instead of becoming the Motel 8 of the world this wouldn’t have happened.

  • ex-Indianapolis

    There is a joke about West Virginia “1 Million people, 15 last names”. But I doubt that the level of incest there is anywhere close to that from Middle Eastern Countries or the Royal Families of Europe. Whenever you hear of a terrorist action, you normally think of Achmed from Saudi Arabia, not Billy Bob from Nitro, WV.

    Professor Jones will get the boot for telling the truth as Enoch Powell did in 1968.

  • BAW

    It’s OK to make fun of incest among “hillbillies” and “rednecks” because they’re white…but we can’t impose on the cultures of Islamic peoples!

    Perhaps that’s why that part of the world is as messed up as it is.

  • Occidentus

    I did two tours in Iraq, and there was an interesting tidbit in the Army-issued handbook on the local culture. When children reach marrying age, the first prospect for marriage is a first cousin. If no first cousin is availible, they look for a second cousin. If no second cousin, a third. Marriage outside the family is done only as a last resort, because it involves the complicated manner of merging the two families.

  • John Bell

    I’m glad this chap is getting a bit of stick because he’s very much part of the left-liberal chattering classes. Although he writes for the Conservative supporting Telegraph he always manages to slip in a little politically correct pill – race mixing is good, white people should have fewer children etc., etc, (he himself, inevitably, is “child free” by choice). So it’s good to see him falling foul of the commissars.

    It’s pretty typical of him to sweeten the message about Pakistanis by having an entirely unfair and entirely irrelevant go at the royal family. So what if Prince Charles is descended many times over from Edward 1st? – so are all people of English descent, just as we’re all descendants of Alfred the Great and William the Conqueror. In fact, no English person (English in the ethnic sense of course)is more distantly removed from any other than as a cousin sixteen times removed.

    As for marriages between first cousins, there’s usually little more danger than with marriages between unrelated people unless it goes on for generation after generation as it did with the Spanish Hapsburgs, and does now with Pakistanis. Perhaps if it goes on for several more generations they’ll end up sterile imbeciles like poor Charles the 2nd of Spain and disappear from the face of the earth.

  • Crystal

    Not just hillbillies but there are other white only groups such as the Amish and the FLDS that have a high population of disabled children due to inbreeding. As far as the Hawaiians go, there is no inbreeding today because there are very few pure Hawaiians left and the majority of people claiming to be Hawaiian are of mixed white or Asian ancestry.

  • diversity=adversity

    “Political correctness” means saying that lies are true and truth is lies. It is very Orwellin.