Cousin mar­riage com­pli­ca­tion

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION - AISHA NASEER

Cousin mar­riage is a mar­riage be­tween two peo­ple with a com­mon grand­par­ent or some other an­ces­tor. It has been, and con­tin­ues to be pop­u­lar in the Sub-con­ti­nent for ages. How­ever, med­i­cal science has proved that such mar­riages, if re­peated again and again, give way to mul­ti­di­men­sional phys­i­cal and men­tal is­sues for the new-borns. There are many de­fects of cousin mar­riages, like Neu­ro­mus­cu­lar dis­or­ders (Neu­ropa­thy, My­opa­thy, SMA, My­oto­nia con­gen­i­tal, and Myas­the­nia gravis), De­gen­er­a­tive brain dis­eases, Con­gen­i­tal heart de­fects (Sep­tum, Heart valves, Ar­ter­ies and veins ) etc.

Ac­cord­ing to Is­lamic point of view cousin mar­riages are al­lowed and Is­lam ap­pre­ci­ates the cousin mar­riages. Even our prophet Mo­hammed (SAW) mar­ried his cousins. How­ever, the holy Prophet also em­pha­sised to look far good spouced for your chil­dren and ex­pand the fam­ily re­la­tions through mar­riage bonds. More­over, ac­cord­ing to science and bi­o­log­i­cal point of view the cousin mar­riages are ge­net­i­cally un­healthy. In cousin mar­riages we trans­fer genes from gen­er­a­tion to gen­er­a­tion and share DNA and due to this, we have high risk of birth de­fects. Its most com­mon in Is­lamic coun­tries but in some sci­en­ti­ci­cally ad­vanced coun­tries and so­ci­eties, cousin mar­riages are banned due to the fear of the ge­netic prob­lems and de­fects.

There are some so­ci­etal rea­sons and jus­ti­fi­ca­tions that sup­port the con­cept of cousin mar­riages, like the cus- tomary tra­di­tions as in Pak­istan and In­dia. Sec­ondly, peo­ple pre­fer their fam­i­lies; they think other fam­i­lies are not re­li­able as the aliens can cheat and flirt with them. They only trust on their fam­i­lies. Third, land lord and big im­mov­able prop­erly own­ers pre­fer cousin mar­riages to keep the fam­ily hold­ings in­tact and undis­tributed; while in other cases high caste fam­i­lies take it as a dis­hon­our and dis­grace to get their chil­dren mar­ried to the in­fe­rior calss fam­i­lies.

It is a sci­en­tif­i­cally and bi­o­log­i­cally es­tab­lished re­search that genes get weak­ened if the suc­ces­sive gen­er­a­tions of the same fam­ily opt for in­ter-fam­ily mar­riages and so ge­net­i­cal prob­lems do crop up that af­fect the chil­dren, fam­i­lies and also af­fect our coun­try fu­ture. We can con­trol these prob­lems by cre­at­ing aware­ness among the masses about the bi­o­log­i­cal is­sues em­a­nat­ing from cousin mar­riages. We need to ed­u­cate the peo­ple, through ed­u­ca­tion and me­dia, in or­der to have a physically and men­tally healthy gen­er­a­tion to se­cure a promis­ing fu­ture for the na­tion. — La­hore

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