Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Marrying One's Cousin in Oman, and Pepsi Babies

Because of a comment I read on JD's blog, I wanted to touch on the topic of marrying one's cousins.

Unless my future children are totally adamantly, defiantly in love with one of their Omani cousins, and that cousin they are in love with is a good Muslim AND a good person (they should be intertwined, one meaning the other but one can be culturally Islamic and a horrible personage at the same time in my experience), and then, and only then, if they have a blood test first, and it makes them medically compatible, well... other than that, I won't let them marry their cousins. Or be familially pressured into marrying their cousins.

Why? when I adore most of their potential cousins? When I love my family? and think them good, and actually accept the practice as halal in Islam?

Because sometimes, the children inherit genetic diseases, especially blood disorders, more often, when they are genetically linked. And it isn't a very big issue for me. My husband was born from parents who were cousins, and most of my Omani, Saudi, Emerati, Qatari, Bahraini friends are too. It isn't a big deal to me, but I think it is better to NOT to. Medically.

Contrary to what alot of expats think, not everyone who marries their cousins are gonna end up with special needs children. It just doesn't happen like that. For example, my Omani family. The only genetically inherent disease they seem to manifest from stubbornly marrying only in the family is bleeding gum. I mean, uber sensitive teeth. The ones that married distant cousins from far away villages don't have this problem in their children. But imagine if it were something worse than sensitive teeth. Like blood disorders, such as sickle-cell anemia.

I was reading a book on the history of the interior region of the Sultanate from an early expat voice on Oman and was highly offended when the author referred to people from the interior as warring imbreds.

Since not all cousin babies end up in trouble at all. There are ALOT of medical factors. I know, it is one thing to do with my work in IRL;)

But then, now after my opinions on the subject, there is one other thought in my head. A conversation between my sister in law and I of late.

Now, if she ever reads this, my SIL will figure out RIGHT AWAY who I am in IRL. Hi! My Big Omani Princess;P [BOP].

Anyways, SIL BOP and I were talking about something TOTALLY UNRELATED to anything or anyone imbred. We were talking about ow unhealthy Pepsi is. Or, well BOP was, since MOP [my Omani Prince aka my husband] is also on this bandwagon and they want me to stop drinking alot of caffeine.

I spoke in defence of the occasional can of pepsi. I know it rots my teeth out, but I do not think the powers attributed to it by BOP canbe actually manifest.

BOP: "Once a month is totally okay. But I knew a girl from Nizwa who drank only Pepsi during her preganancy, and her baby was born with deformities."

OPNO: "So you blame the Pepsi?"

BOP: "Of course."

OPNO: "I think it had more to do with them being cousins."

Sorry, Cousin Marriages, but I had to say that in defence of my occasional can of Pepsi. I really can't do the "dew" and orange miranda stains my teeth sooooo... LOL.


Lamya said...

dude you have to look at this blog it is the most hateful this i have ever seen, I made a complaint to blogger about it braking there hate speak rules.

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Lamya: It is hate speech. But I won't complain to blogger about a non-Muslim saying bad things about Islam. I will complain about a muslim saying things that are against the religion he/she professes to represent.

This website is just proof that sometimes Muslims are hated. That some people want you and I to be killed just for what we believe and they will lie to try and trick others into that.

What makes me mad is so called Muslims who make crap like this. THEY hurt me and this ummah.

♥ααℓiα♥ said...

I concur about the marrying-cousins and Pepsi issue. Miranda makes my teeth orange and Mountain Dew tastes like welfare Sprite.

BTW I am planning on marrying my son to somebody from *outside* the gene pool inshaaAllah.

♥ααℓiα♥ said...

BTW @ Lamya to show how lame that person's website is -- they only have one Follower (and I think it's the Blog author LOL) so it just shows how "cool" their website is. May Allah guide whoever they are & let them have mercy & compassion for others.

Muscat Mitchells said...

Wow....just looked at that link...someone's an angry bunny! Everyone's allowed an opinion, but I just can't help thinking that this person is so full of negative energy and hate. Not healthy!

UmmKhaled said...

I agree with the cousin thing. Married to an Emirati myself...i would NEVER allow my kids to marry ANY of their cousins and I already started plating the little seed of "unacceptable" in their when MIL and SILs start saying oh so and so will marry so and so...I just tell them AYB...and my son is older so I just tell him it is not acceptable. I want him to be happy too....Ohh I could go on about this topic so much...I really DO NOT like this practice. I am glad I married my husband and he didn't fall into that TRAP of unhappy marriages with a cousin...and there ARE deformities and it is more than we know cause they hide those things! Anyways Alhamdullilah for everything and Inshaallah never happens to our kids.

Mrs. Handbag Addict said...

I'm glad you see through the marrying of cousins things, that's how my family used to be (up to my grandparents generation) and I do have a blood disorder cause of it =/ luckily mine is under control (cause my parents aren't related so its minor) but it could have ended up very badly! People should think before jumping into one of these marriages

Anonymous said...

I was reading your blog. I have been living in the Gulf about a year. Cousin marriage still really bothers me especially the total acceptance by society and lack of facing up to the harmful genetic reality.
Basically, Arab people are breeding themselves into the dumb and dumber by this marriage system through lack of natural diversity and what is called inbred "depression" where the bad recessive traits are passed on.
My message is not meant to be hateful or anything like that; it is stating the truth and if you feel the truth is hateful, then that is your shame. Truth is truth even if you don't want to face it.
In animals (especially livestock,) it has been well documented the negative effects of inbreeding and how herds become significantly less productive even after only the second generation of inbreeding. There are companies which assist farmers in breeding their livestock to avoid these issues and to keep the livestock productivity up. For example, a third generation inbred cow produces about 30% less milk than an outbred cow.
You can check out these photos of dramatic animal inbreds: If this is for animals..think of humans; and the Arab people have been doing this for maybe up to 40 generations. In my neighborhood here, the family next to me has 3 "defected" members out of about 40 people. And, they continue to marry cousins!! Actually, there is a general ignorance on the topic. I guess it is too touchy of an issue because no one wants to feel "bad" about themselves or their they continue to live in the same ignorant state.
It is a huge unrecognized problem. The people here in the country I am living have a long way to go before they can "operate" at normal productivity and efficiency levels on their own to match the outside world. The reality is without expat help mostly Indian and some European the country would really fall apart. This may be offensive to some, but it as absolutely how I have observed the state of affairs through personal experience since I have been here. I did not have this idea before I came. I believe some of this is due to the inbreeding. It is keeping Arab nations populous down and weaker- less productive. This maybe totally non-PC and a topic people want to avoid, but it must be faced at some point if these countries want to continue their development. From what I understand, it seems to be more of a cultural problem not a religious as I read one account as follows: "Caliph Omar Bin Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) saw an Arabian tribe called Banu Al-Sayeb whose bodies were very weak and emaciated because they used to marry their kins. Caliph Omar told them to marry strangers."

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Wow, lot's of comments.

Aalia: LOL @ welfare sprite. I concur.

Muscat Mitchells: Yep. InshaAllah they are just writing these thigns down and not actually DOING anything hateful.

Mrs. Handbag addict: Alhamdulilah for your health being maintained. And thank you for your comment.

Umm Khaled: I am glad cuz your kids are too sweet mashaAllah and the next generation needs to look just as adorable;)

Anon: I do agree. But at the same time, I don't like people referring to an Arab that is just stupid as that being the fault of inbreeding. Maybe, just maybe, he or she is just an ignorant idiot, regardless of breeding;D

Umm Ibrahim said...

spkg of inbreeding...unfortunately I am not very keen on inbreeding as ive seen the affects of it inrl...I know you say you have too...but like in Iran, esp in rural areas, small cities and in very large, traditional families cousin marriage is thhe norm and many, many, many of them show the signs of inbreeding...infact it took me a LONG time to realise that some of the weird, off things people do is due to inbreeding. Those from heavily inbred families...yes can have health problems but it seems to be mostly mental problems and developmental problems which show themselves. In a heavily inbred family...the family members often have fertility problems (duh, I wonder why...maybe nature is telling u NOT to have kids!), children are born who have developmental delays-some of which can be major, some are minor, some just lack all sense of reasoning and dont understand anything beyond what is simple and easily understood. It manifests itself in other ways...but generally those who are severally inbred are not as healthy as those who arent. My family isnt inbred (theyve married out a lot) and my husbands own family isnt either, but some related families that some of his realtives have married into are-1 such family is excessively inbred, and its caused them a LOT of health, emotional and mental problems...

Unfortunately while the government is trying to keep people from marrying inside their family...many families continue it as they feel its "safer" to marry someone you ur first cousin, etc.

No wonder there are so many fertility problems there...i really think this is the main cause!