Four years before, Hamza’s older sister, three-month-old Khadeja, had died of the same brain disorder which causes fits, sickness and chest infections.The couple had another baby born with equally devastating neurological problems.In a typical health authority area, the range of different types of genetic disorder total 25 a year.But in Bradford, 140 have been diagnosed, according to Dr Peter Corry, a consultant paediatrician at the hospital.A heartbroken Mr Rehman told the inquest that he and his wife were unsure whether to have any more children.The coroner expressed deep sympathy before saying that Hamza’s death should serve as a warning to others.The British Paediatric Surveillance Unit says eight per cent of all UK children born with this kind of neuro-degenerative condition come from Bradford, although the city has just one per cent of the UK’s population. In Birmingham, which also has a big Pakistani community, the city’s Primary Care Trust estimates that one in ten of all children born to first cousins either dies in infancy or goes on to have a serious disability because of a recessive gene disorder.However, on Muslim websites the issue is discussed more freely.
But when sign-ups flooded in, Mubeen realized that her “lighthearted, jokey” personal project, with its sweet mustachioed logo, had become a mecca for modern, hybridized Muslims like herself.
The man wept as he told how his beautiful, dark-eyed child died in a hospital cot with medical tubes snaking from his frail body as nurses fought unsuccessfully to save him.
Sick with pneumonia, the two-year-old gave up the battle for life.
As one British-Pakistani put it bluntly on a similar website: ‘A main reason why this corrupt practice is still followed in Britain is because the family wants to keep their property, land, jewellery and money in the family.‘The lack of education in families, along with a Pakistani village culture, encourages these incestuous marriages.
The children are born disabled and it must cost the NHS millions of pounds to treat them.
Maybe if the NHS refused to treat the children the families would have second thoughts.’They were harsh words.