Humanist Professor could set off a ‘political storm’

Humanist professor, Steve Jones may be on the brink of causing political warfare after he has suggested that Mulims are inbreeding and it could be posing a great danger to society. This warning has come at a speech made during the Hay Festival. The geneticist has stated that it is time for somebody to say something.

Apparently, it was common in the Islamic world for men to marry their nieces and cousins. Prof Jones, who lectures at University College London, is likely to find himself at the centre of controversy in the wake of the comments. To be honest, I’m not surprised. The UK generally turns a blind eye to Islam in the UK, especially inbreeding. Last I heard, that sort of thing was incest. And incest = illegal.

Similar remarks to Prof Jones’ have been made by Phil Woolas, a Labour environment minister. In 2008, the remarks resulted in calls for him to be sacked from the government (which I find absolutely abominable).

Prof Jones told listeners in his speech,  “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. Bradford is very inbred. There is a huge amount of cousins marrying each other there.

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.

Something needs to be said, and then implemented. Our country cannot go on like this. We’re all bound to a law in the UK which seems double standard; though I doubt the vast majority of the UK would want to have sexual relations with a relative of theirs.

Of course, inbreeding has happened in British society for centuries, the Royal Family as an example. But does this make it right?

Considering the inbreeding causes a myriad of genetic diseases, I think it’s high time that the Government should stop cowering behind the Political Correctness Bouncer and get doing the job that we as the British People have voted them in to do, which is to uphold the law of the land and make this country a safe, healthy and successful place to live in.



Dean Roberts

Dean is a Minister in the Anglican Church. Currently he is Curate in the parishes of Bedwas, Machen, Michaelston-y-Fedw and Rudry in South Wales. He was born and bred in Wales, is married to Megan, and has two dogs called Taliesin and Melyn, and two cats named Sinsir and Hâf. He graduated from Cardiff University with a BA Hons. in Theology & Religious Studies, and has studied for an MA in Theology, Ministry & Mission at Trinity College Bristol. He also holds a Cert.RSCM from the Royal School of Church Music. He loves playing music, walking, reading, blogging and horse riding as well as going to the cinema and theatre. Read More @

  • ConcernedChristian

    I will give you the benefit of the doubt here Dean and assume you are being naive.

    In a country on the dangerous precipice which could lead to interracial violence in many working class areas, the non-publicity of the issue of close relation marriage amongst non-whites is not political correctness. It is cultural sensitivity at a difficult time. For example, the only three papers to run this story were the Daily Mail, Telegraph and Daily Star none of which are known for their tolerant stance on Islam. The Daily Star even went with the first line “Muslims are inbreeding so much it is causing birth defects in British babies” – quality journalism.

    We need to be very semantically careful in our pronouncements that we use the correct terminology for the groups we are referring to. The marrying of cousins is very common throughout Asia (Muslim or otherwise) There are many huge numbers Muslims in the UK who aren’t from Pakistani descent (or even from Asian descent for that matter). The interchanging of the terms pakistani, muslim and linking both to the term inbred. Is at best simplistic and at worst offensive.

    As a Christian, I have two additional problems with your statements above, freedom of religion is very important to me and we are in the dangerous position of this not being the case for the Muslim population in parts of this country, inflamed rhetoric will make this situation worse not better. Secondly, we are called to show love towards our brothers, whatever their religion and to strive to show them the truth of the gospel. Calling a large cross section of our population “inbred” will lead to enmity between the Christian and Muslim communities and if that leads to less people being open to the gospel then that us a problem. To quote the great hymnist…”It’s not what you do, its the way that you do it (and the words you use)”

    • Thanks for posting, ConcernedChristian.

      I think that you’re maybe getting too hung up on the terminology here. Inbred just refers to people procreating within relative gene pools. It’s no way meant in a derogatory way at all.

      You’re completely right in that we should love or brothers, even of different religions. However, the article was meant to highlight the more health related issues of the situation rather than a stabbing into Islamic culture.

      I think Dilys has summed what I mean to say well in her post…

      Thank you for interacting, and I look forward to you commenting again! 🙂

  • Dilys

    Is this not a medical issue, rather than a chance for people to name-call? Banding the term “inbred” around just seems like a chance to offend people and not look at the actual problem…

    Children from families who have two parents very similar in genetic make-up will be more likely to have medical problems linked to genes. For example, when a woman has two first-degree relatives who have had breast cancer at an early age, they are significantly more likely to also develop breast cancer. When any family is so closely linked genetically, it is inevitable for this kind of thing to happen. So, I wonder, should there be less name-calling and more calls for education on health? Is it less to do with politicians and humanists shouting about it in the news, and more to do with good education on health in schools, or GPs picking up on these potential genetic problems? After all, it is or should be everyone’s free choice who they marry (and I just looked it up – apparently it is legal to marry your cousin, but illegal to marry your sibling’s child), maybe families just need to be reminded of the medical implications?

  • ConcernedChristian

    Dean, the term “inbred” is a derogatory term.

    It may have started off life with a specific meaning but it is now a term of abuse. In the article Steve Jones was using it for effect to ensure maximal press coverage for his talk (which he succeeded in doing in the right wing press)

    To use it in the way he did and to raise the issue he raised is inflammatory and as Christians we should be condemning this public name and shame way of dealing with an issue which picks on an individual community.

    In the current climate of racial tension in the UK, the singling out of a race/religion and identifying their (completely legal and Biblically sound) practices as wrong, sends all the wrong messages of what the Christian faith is about.

    • ConcernedChristian, I believe that we shouldn’t be encouraging political correctness to the extent that we are.

      Indeed, we need to be careful and considerate in our dealings with sensitive issues. However…

      The focus on my article is to highlight the health problems associated with the issue in hand. Nothing more, nothing less.

      • ConcernedChristian

        I don’t think that not using words and phrases commonly considered to be offensive is political correctness.

        Would you call someone with Down Syndrome a “Mongol”? Would you call someone from the travelling community a “Gypsy”? Would you call someone whose parents are distantly related “inbred”? All 3 questions are the same just a different context.

        As I highlighted previously, if your intention was to highlight the health problem, why bring faith or race into it? Offspring of parents who are distant relatives are more likely to have genetic abnormalities. This fact is true, irrelevant of their faith or colour. Just because a famous humanist biologist mentions faith and race to get his face in the press. Does not make it right for Christians to proclaim his views.

        • ConcernedChristian, the news item that I read included faith and religion, and so the blog contained it too. It was the faith and religion that sparked off the news item.

          I wasn’t, and don’t proclaim his views. I merely commented on them and said that inbreeding is dangerous. So I refute that assumed accusation.

          Also, whilst I’ve never heard of a ‘Mongol’, I have had some conversations with travellers in the past, and they said they don’t mind being called gypsy. And so that’s what I call them. As I call people who procreate with relatives such as first cousins or whatever inbreeding. That is just the term for it.

          I have every respect for the asian community and indeed Muslims. However, I will NEVER condone procreating with close relatives, due to the stats I mentioned above. It’s not about the people procreating, it’s about the horribly dangerous illnesses they inflict on their offspring.

          That is the issue here.