By: Nicolai Sennels, psychologist
The most famous example of inbreeding is in ancient Egypt, where several Pharaonic dynasties collapsed after a couple of hundred years. In order to keep wealth and power within the family, the Pharaohs often married their own sister or half-sister and after a handful of generations the offspring were mentally and physically unfit to rule. Another historical example is the royal houses of Europe where royal families often married among each other because tradition did not allow them to marry people of non-royal class.
The high amount of mentally retarded and handicapped royalties throughout European history shows the unhealthy consequences of this practice. Luckily, the royal families have now allowed themselves to marry for love and not just for status.
The Muslim culture still practices inbreeding and has been doing so for longer than any Egyptian dynasty. This practice also predates the world’s oldest monarchy (the Danish) by 300 years.
A rough estimate shows that close to half of all Muslims in the world are inbred: In Pakistan, 70 percent of all marriages are between first cousins (so-called “consanguinity”) and in Turkey the amount is between 25-30 percent (Jyllands-Posten, 27/2 2009 More stillbirths among immigrants”
Statistical research on Arabic countries shows that up to 34 percent of all marriages in Algiers are consanguineal (blood related), 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 Arabic Emirates and 45 percent in Yemen (Reproductive Health Journal, 2009 Consanguinity and reproductive health among Arabs.).
A large part of inbred Muslims are born from parents who are themselves inbred – which increase the risks of negative mental and physical consequences greatly.
The amount of blood related marriages is lower among Muslim immigrants living in the West. Among Pakistanis living in Denmark the amount is down to 40 percent and 15 percent among Turkish immigrants (Jyllands-Posten, 27/2 2009 More stillbirths among immigrants”.).
More than half of Pakistani immigrants living in Britain are intermarried:
The research, conducted by the BBC and broadcast to a shocked nation on Tuesday, found that at least 55% of the community was married to a first cousin. This is thought to be linked to the probability that a British Pakistani family is at least 13 times more likely than the general population to have children with recessive genetic disorders.” (Times of India, 17/11 2005 Ban UK Pakistanis from marrying cousins).
The lower percentages might be because it is difficult to get the chosen family member to the country, or because health education is better in the West.
Several studies show that children of consanguineous marriages have lower intelligence than children of non-related parents. Research shows that the IQ is 10-16 points lower in children born from related parents and that abilities related to social behavior develops slower in inbred babies:
“Effects of parental consanguinity on the cognitive and social behavior of children have been studied among the Ansari Muslims of Bhalgapur, Bihar.
IQ in inbred children (8-12 years old) is found to be lower (69 in rural and 79 in suburban populations) than that of the outbred ones (79 and 95 respectively). The onset of various social profiles like visual fixation, social smile, sound seizures, oral expression and hand-grasping are significantly delayed among the new-born inbred babies.” (Indian National Science Academy, 1983 Consanguinity Effects on Intelligence Quotient and Neonatal Behaviours of nsari Muslim Children”).
The article “Effects of inbreeding on Raven Matrices” concludes that “Indian Muslim school boys, ages 13 to 15 years, whose parents are first cousins, were compared with classmates whose parents are genetically unrelated on the Raven Standard Progressive Matrices, a nonverbal test of intelligence. The inbred group scored significantly lower and had significantly greater variance than the non-inbred group, both on raw scores and on scores statistically adjusted to control for age and socioeconomic status.” (Behaviour Genetics, 1984).
Another study shows that the risk of having an IQ lower than 70 goes up 400 percent from 1.2 percent in children from normal parents to 6.2 percent in inbred children: “The data indicate that the risk for mental retardation in matings of normal parents increases from 0.012 with random matings to 0.062 for first-cousin parentage.” (Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 1978 Effect of inbreeding on IQ and mental retardation”). The study A study of possible deleterious effects of consanguinity concludes, that “The occurrence of malignancies, congenital abnormalities, mental retardation and physical handicap was significantly higher in offspring of consanguineous than non-consanguineous marriages.”
Mental and physical diseases and death
The risk of stillbirth doubles when parents are first cousins (Jyllands-Posten, 27/2 2009 More stillbirths among immigrants). One study analyzed the risk of perinatal death (the child dies during its own birth), infant death (child dies while still infant) and autosomal recessive disorders (serious and often deadly genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis and spinal muscular atrophy):
Perinatal mortality in the Pakistani children was 1.5 times higher than that in the Norwegian children, and infant mortality in the Pakistani children was more than double that in the Norwegian children. Deaths due to autosomal recessive disorders were 18 times more common in the Pakistani children. Similarly, deaths due to multiple malformations, which may be part of unrecognized autosomal recessive syndromes, were 10 times more common.(BMJ, 1994 Infant death and consanguineous marriage.
There are also evidence suggesting that inbred people has a higher risk of developing mental disorders: “The clinical observations indicated that depression is very high in some communities where the consanguinity of marriages is also high.” (Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 2009 “Relationship between consanguinity and depression in a south Indian population“.
Another study focused on the relationship between intermarriage and schizophrenia: “The closer the blood relative, the more likely was there to be a schizophrenic illness.” (American Psychiatric Press, 1982 The role of genetic factors in the ethiology of the schizophrenic
The increased risk of insanity among children of marriages between cousins might explain why immigrant patients are stressing the psychiatric system and are strongly overrepresented among insane criminals: “In Sct. Hans Hospital, which has the biggest ward for clinically insane criminals in Denmark, more than 40 percent of the patients have an immigrant background.” (Kristeligt Dagblad, 26/6 2007 Ethnic minorities overrepresented among the criminal insane).
Implications for the Western and the Muslim World
The consequences for offspring of consanguineous marriages are unpleasantly clear: Death, low intelligence or even mental retardation, handicaps and diseases often leading to a slow and painful death. Other consequences are:
Limited social skills and understanding, limited ability to manage education and work procedures and painful treatment procedures. The negative cognitive consequences also influence the executive functions. The impairment of concentration and emotional control most often leads to anti-social behavior.
The economic costs and consequences for society of inbreeding are of course secondary to the reality of human suffering.
However, inbreeding among Muslims has severe implications for both the Western societies and the Muslim world.
Expenses related to mentally and physically handicapped Muslim immigrants drains the budget for other public services: “When cousins have children together, they are twice as likely to have a disabled child – it costs municipal funds dearly. Disabled immigrant children costs Danish municipalities millions. In Copenhagen County alone, the number of disabled children in the overall increase of 100 percent at 10 years. … Meredith Lefelt has contacted 330 families with disabled children in Copenhagen. She estimates that one third of their clients have a foreign cultural background.” (BT, 10/11 2003 Immigrants inbreeding costing one million.
On top come the expenses for Muslim immigrants who – because of different consequences of being born from blood related parents – are not able to live up to the challenges of our Western work market: Muslim immigrants and their descendants in Europe have a very high rate of unemployment.
The same goes for Muslims in USA, where the Gallup Institute made a study involving 300.000 people concluding “The majority of Muslims in USA have a lower income, are less educated and have worse jobs than the population as a whole.” (Berlingske Tidende, d. 3. marts 2009:Muslims thrive in USA.
The cognitive consequences of Muslim inbreeding might explain why non-Western immigrants are more than 300 percent more likely to fail the Danish army’s intelligence test than native Danes: “19.3% of non-Western immigrants are not able to pass the Danish army’s intelligence test. In comparison, only 4.7% of applicants with Danish background do not pass.” (TV 2 Nyhederne, 13/6 2007 Immigrants flunk army test.
It probably also explains – at least partly – why two-thirds of all immigrant school children with Arabic backgrounds are illiterate after 10 years in the Danish school system: “Those who speak Arabic with their parents have an extreme tendency to lack reading abilities – 64 percent are illiterate. … No matter if it concerns reading abilities, mathematics or science, the pattern is the same: The bilingual (largely Muslim) immigrants’ skills are exceedingly poor compared to their Danish classmates.” (Rockwool Foundation Research Unit, May 2007: Ethnic students do not make Danish children worse.
The high expenses on special education for slow learners consumes one-third of the budget for the Danish schools. “Immigrant children are clearly overrepresented on Copenhagen’s schools for retarded children and children with physical handicaps. … 51 percent of the children on the three schools in Copenhagen for children with physical and mental handicaps have immigrant back ground and on one of the schools the amount is 70 percent. … These amounts are significantly higher than the share of immigrant children in the municipality, which is 33 percent. The many handicapped children are a clear evidence that there are many intermarried parents in the immigrant families.” (Jydske Vestkysten, 4/4 2009 Tosprogede i overtal på handicapskoler).
Our high level of education may also make it harder for inbred students to follow and finish their studies: “Young people with minority backgrounds have a significantly higher dropout rate at secondary schools than youth with a Danish background. For trade school education, the dropout rate among immigrants is 60 percent, twice as high among adolescents with a Danish background….
There is great variation in educational outcomes when compared with national origin. For example, dropout among young people with Lebanese or Iranian background is far greater than among people of Vietnamese background.” (Center for Knowledge on Integration in Randers, May 2005 “Youth, education and integration“). ”Among immigrant children that are born and raised in Denmark, more than a third has no education. Among native Danes it is less than one fifth that do not get an education. (Statistics Denmark: “Indvandrere i 2007”.
The negative consequences of inbreeding are also vast for the Muslim world. Inbreeding may thus explain why only nine Muslims ever managed to receive the prestigious Nobel Prize (5 of them won the “Peace Prize” – for peace that turned out not to last for very long).
The limited ability to understand, appreciate and produce knowledge following a limited IQ is probably also partly the reason why Muslim countries produce 1/10 of the World average when it comes to scientific research: “In 2003, the world average for production of articles per million inhabitants was 137, whereas none of the 47 OIC countries for which there were data achieved production above 107 per million inhabitants. The OIC average was just 13.” (Nature444, p. 26-27, 1. November 2006 ”Islam and science: The data gap”.
The lack of interest in science and human development in the Muslim World is also clear in the UN Arab Human Development Reports (AHDR). AHDR concludes that there have been fewer books translated into Arabic in the last thousand years than the amount of books translated within the country of Spain every year:
“The Arab world translates about 330 books annually, one fifth of the number that Greece translates. The cumulative total of translated books since the Caliph Maa’moun’s [sic] time (the ninth century) is about 100,000, almost the average that Spain translates in one year.” (Eugene Rogan ”Arab Books and human development”. Index of Censorship, vol. 33, issue 2 April 2004, p. 152-157). “70 percent of the Turkish citizens never read books.”(APA, 23 February 2009 “).
There is no doubt that the wide spread tradition of first cousin marriages among Muslims has harmed the gene pool among Muslims. Because Muslims’ religious beliefs prohibit marrying non-Muslims and thus prevents them from adding fresh genetic material to their population, the genetic damage done to their gene pool since their prophet allowed first cousin marriages 1,400 years ago are most likely massive. The overwhelming direct and indirect human and societal consequences have been explained above.
Compassion for the health of future generations should be enough to ban intermarriage among first cousins. The economic and societal consequences do also count. Such a ban would also lessen Muslim immigration to the West because many Muslim families would like to be able to continue their practice of intermarriage in order to live up to cultural and religious traditions and keep wealth and power inside their family.
A legislative ban on first cousin marriages is a logical and compassionate imperative for both the Muslim world, for EU and our Western national governments.
This article was first published in EuropeNews.dk