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‘There is a criminal element across all communities.‘These comments could lead to stereotyping.Lord Ahmed should have been more careful in how he dealt with this issue.‘But it is important to add that we should never excuse these crimes on the basis of arranged marriages.‘I am deeply worried about this as it has happened in my own backyard, and in Rochdale and Bradford.This didn’t happen in my or my father’s generation. ‘While I respect individual choice, I think the community needs to look at marriages in the UK rather than cousin marriages or economic marriages from abroad.’But Khalid Mahmood, Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr, said the comments could lead to stereotyping of Pakistani men.‘I don’t think this is a problem with a particular community,’ he said.
"It's really creating a mess for most of the people over here," says Wagma Sirshar, Ali's classmate.They should all be prosecuted.’ More than half of British Pakistanis marry their first cousins, usually from abroad. Muslims from Bangladesh or India are far less likely to marry their first cousins.The practice is legal in the UK but health experts have warned that cousin marriages have led to high levels of genetic birth defects in the Pakistani community.Earlier this month, former home secretary Jack Straw caused a furore when he said white girls were seen as ‘easy meat’ by some Pakistani men.He spoke out after Mohammed Liaquat, 28, and Abid Saddique, 27, were jailed for a minimum of 11 and eight years respectively for grooming and abusing 26 girls in Derby, 22 of whom were white.
Lord Ahmed, who grew up in Rotherham, said many young Asian men suffer from loveless cousin marriages and called for an end to the practice.