It seems that the Sunday Telegraph writers may have been naughty little journalists and misreported what Professor Steve Jones actually said at the Hay Festival.
I guess as Muslims we should not be surprised that a national newspaper has misreported on an issue about Islam.
Below is a letter from Professor Jones confirming what he actually said at the Hay Festival.
Thank you for your email. This was an example of stupid and inaccurate
reporting. I never said that in the Islamic world it was common to marry
your brother’s daughter and I know of course that this is not true. What I
did say, after discussing cousin marriage, is that another form of
inbreeding in the world is to marry one’s brother’s daughter (and although
I did not mention the detail that is indeed frequent among Hindu groups
and a few others). As many Islamic communities of course know there is an
issue – and it is a much smaller one than many people claim – to do with
health and cousin marriage over many generations; and in Bradford and
elsewhere there has been much discussion about the wisdom of doing this.
The headline was of course entirely ridiculous.
He followed up by confirming that he has written to the Sunday Telegraph editor pointing out that he had not said what they had suggested in their May 29th edition. He is not very hopeful of the letter being published however.