2003 May 23 Friday
Consanguineous Marriage Perpetuates Violence In Muslim Mindanao

The predominately Muslim province of Mindanao in the Philippines is the scene of a long-standing rebellion against the central government of the Philippines. Not coincidentally it is also marked by a high incidence of marriages arranged between relatives and this pattern of marriage helps to perpetuate a cycle of violence even between the Muslims themselves.

Rido is a long-time practice of exacting vengeance among Maranaos. Family members up to the third consanguinity of both feuding clans have to defend family honor and take the responsibility in killing their nemeses. The cycle of violence can only be patched up by the tribe’s elders, and this involves financial and material compensation and swearing before the Koran that both parties are renouncing rido.

Consanguinity in marriages is a major obstacle in the political development of the Muslim Middle East and other Muslim lands.

An article in The Scientist (free registration required) about recessive genetic traits causing a higher incidence of deafness among Palestinians also provides evidence of a high level of consanguineous marriage in that group.

The global average for hereditary hearing loss is one out of every 1,000. Among Palestinians the rate is 1.7 out of 1,000; in some Palestinian communities, the rate is as high as 2.5.1

By contrast the Israeli Jews have a deafness rate that almost equals the world average and the Israelis not coincidentally are able to support a parliamentary democracy. The Islamic societies are unable to form modern nation-states because the loyalties that a nation-state needs to function well are shifted down toward the extended family and up toward the larger Muslim community. This leaves the nation-state unable to develop a supporting civil society. Also, the governments are unable to recruit bureaucrats who do not face large demands from their families to use their government positions in the interest of their families and to the detriment of the functioning of a government.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2003 May 23 11:04 AM  Civilizations Clash Of


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