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Preferential Patrilateral Parallel Cousin Marriage


 Today, with “Marriage and the Terror War,” I begin a series of pieces on Muslim cousin marriage and the war on terror.  Yesterday’s review of Dinesh D’Souza’s The Enemy at Home serves as an introduction, of sorts, to an argument I hope to lay out in the coming weeks.

Because they draw on the anthropological study of kinship–a famously abstruse topic–today’s piece and the ones that follow will require a bit more effort than usual from readers.  In these essays, I use the abbreviation “parallel cousin marriage” for the practice in question.  The technical term is “preferential patrilateral parallel cousin marriage.”  It’s “preferential” because, in the region where it predominates, this form of marriage is not required, but merely preferred.  It’s “patrilateral” because Muslim parallel cousin marriage runs through the father’s side, not the mother’s side….   And so on.  I can feel your eyes glazing over already, but believe me, I’ve done everything I can in the pieces themselves to spare you unnecessary details and clearly explain what needs to be explained.  I hope folks will feel that the new perspective gained on the terror war is worth the extra effort.  In any case, read these pieces and, at a minimum, you can impress your friends at cocktail parties by explaining to them that the real reason for the war on terror is preferential patrilateral parallel cousin marriage.


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