Derya put yesterday an interesting article on her blog.
All about marriages within the family. You can read her entry here.
For me is it amazing that some Islamic scholars in the Sharia law still defend these kind of practices.
Marriages in medieval Europe were often arranged, especially in the aristocracy and royal families to protect family possessions or extend them. Most of these marriages were often
between first degree cousins. Which is not called incest but inbreeding.
In most of the Western world, while incest generally describes forbidden sexual relations within the family, the applicable definitions of family vary.
Within the United States, marriage between first cousins is illegal in some states, but not in others.
In twenty-four states marriages between first cousins are prohibited, and another seven permit them only under special circumstances. Utah, for example, permits first cousins to marry only if both spouses are over age 65, or at least 55 with evidence of sterility; North Carolina permits first cousins to marry unless they are "double first cousins" (cousins through more than one line); Maine permits first cousins to marry only upon presentation of a certificate of genetic counselling. The other states with some, but not absolute, limits on first-cousin marriage are Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.
First-cousin marriage without restriction is permitted in nineteen states — Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia—and the District of Columbia.
First-cousin marriage is illegal in Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas (such marriages may not be performed after 1 September 2005, although previous marriages are still recognized), Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming, although the United States Constitution has been interpreted as requiring these states to give "full faith and credit" to such marriages performed in other states.
Yet, in the absence of a United States Supreme Court ruling, the scope of the Full Faith and Credit Clause is not clear in this context, especially as it would have implications on whether states were required to recognize marriages commenced in Massachusetts between same-sex couples. There are conflicts and courts have interpreted the clause differently. Some states, such as Wisconsin, have marriage abroad laws that make marriages by their residents in jurisdictions in order to circumvent their state's marriage restrictions null and void, and marriages contracted in that state to avoid restrictions in another jurisdiction likewise void.
The definitions of incest and inbreeding are distinct. Incest describes socially taboo sexual activity between individuals who are considered to be too closely related to enter into marriage. In other words, it is a social and cultural term.
Inbreeding describes procreation between individuals with varying degrees of genetic closeness, regardless of their relative social positions. It is a scientific term, rather than a social or cultural term.
With the exeption of Sweden, the USA has a total different view about this matter.
While in the Middle East the discussion is going on, who cares for all those retarded children born out these kinde of marriages? Culture relativisme still rules parts of the world.