Über 50% der aller menschen in der arabischen und der sog. islamischen Welt heiraten Familienmitglieder, ja in vielen Ländern gilt es als vorbildlich und erwünscht, wenn Cousinen Cousins heiraten. So erhalten sich Familienbande, in Stammesgesellschaften wird so der Zusammenhalt gestärkt.
Und die Folgen sind fatal: "Bei Euch heiraten Menschen, bei uns Familien", schrieb vor einiger Zeit eine aus Pakistan stammende Feministin.
Recently I was discussing culture with an educated person whom I respect. Over bourbon, we talked about various matters, including religion. The conversation was interesting but uneventful until he dropped this line.
“You do know half of the Arab world is inbred, right?”
It was a jarring line. It sounded both coarse and false. I politely answered that, no, I was not aware of this particular fact. I must have been smirking, because he persisted. “It’s true. Look it up.”
It was at this point I expressed skepticism. Perhaps he meant some villages in the Arab or Muslim world? Nope, he said. (...)
“Saudi Arabia is a living genetics laboratory,” Dr. Stephen R. Schroeder, executive director of the Prince Salman Center for Disability Research, told the Times. “Here you can study 10 families to study genetic disorders, where you would need 10,000 families to study genetic disorders in the United States.”
But it’s not just Saudi Arabia, or the Middle East for that matter. Inbreeding is surprisingly common in many Muslim nations and communities, evidence shows.
About 40 percent of the population marries a cousin in Egypt, according to a 2016 report in The Economist, while the percentage in Jordan is 32 percent.
“Rates are thought to be even higher in tribal countries such as Iraq and the Gulf states of Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Kuwait,” says the Economist.
A 2005 BBC survey found that 55 percent of Britain’s huge Pakistani population was married to a first cousin.