Birth Defects Warning Sparks Row

February 10, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: BBC News

A minister who warned about birth defects among children of first cousin marriages in Britain's Asian community has sparked anger among critics.

Phil Woolas said health workers were aware such marriages were creating increased risk of genetic problems.

The claims infuriated the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC) which called on the prime minister to "sack him".

MPAC spokesman Asghar Bukhari said Mr Woolas' comments "verged on Islamophobia".