The demonisation of Muslims by police and parts of the media could create a new generation of terrorists, a senior Muslim leader warned last night.
Muhammad Abdul Bari, the secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said negative stereotyping could trigger a widespread backlash.
"There are a few bad apples in the Muslim community who are doing terrible acts and we want to root them out," said Dr Bari. "But some police officers and sections of the media are demonising Muslims, treating them as if they're all terrorists - and that encourages other people to do the same.
"If that continues, then Britain will have to deal with two million Muslim terrorists - 700,000 of them in London."
In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, he said British Muslims did not understand why the "whole of our diverse communities" are being targeted. "If you attack a whole community, it becomes despondent and aggressive."
His warning came just days after Peter Clarke, head of the Metropolitan Police anti-terrorist branch, said police were monitoring "thousands" of Muslims suspected of terrorist involvement in the UK.Reuse content