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Last Updated: Monday, 29 January 2007, 22:14 GMT
Muslim groups 'not doing enough'
A mosque
The report says Muslims should be seen as individuals
Too many Muslim organisations are "more concerned with their own preservation" than with "promoting understanding", a Conservative policy group says.

A report also attacks multi-culturalism in Britain for "tending to foster difference for its own sake".

Muslim women are "not fulfilling their career potential", it adds.

In a speech in Birmingham on Monday, Tory leader David Cameron called some Muslim extremist groups the "mirror image" of the British National Party.

'Anomalous and patronising'

The interim report, from the Conservative Group on National and International Security - one of several policy groups set up by Mr Cameron - has been obtained by the BBC ahead of its publication on Tuesday.

It says a "significant number" of Muslim organisations are "keener to promote ideology than the totality of the communities they claim to represent".

Political ghettoisation is the wrong route
Conservative policy group

The report adds: "As Muslim communities enter the third generation of settlement in this country, and in circumstances where a rapidly rising proportion have been educated here, it is anomalous and patronising to individuals to treat them indirectly as members of a group and not directly as citizens in their own individual right on a par with other voters.

"Political ghettoisation is the wrong route.

"We recommend that an incoming Conservative government moves in the opposite direction: to bring as many Muslims as possible as rapidly as possible into the mainstream of British life on an individual basis equal with that of their fellow non-Muslim citizens."

'Limited ambition'

The report says many Muslim women are held back by "limited education; or education, possibly to a high level including university followed however by a marriage which excludes either career development, or even any work at all.

"Sometimes it is simply a case of limited ambition on the part of the woman faced with family pressures to conform to traditional practice."

A survey of more than 1,000 UK Muslims by the Policy Exchange think-tank suggests the younger generation is more likely to be attracted by political forms of Islam.

Some 17% of over-55s compared with 37% of 16 to 24-year-olds would prefer living under Sharia law than British law, researchers found.

Mr Cameron earlier said Muslim extremists were often the "mirror image" of the BNP, seeking out grievances to promote an "us and them" society.

These were uncontrolled immigration, extremism, multiculturalism, poverty and "educational apartheid", he added.

The Conservative leader also said in a speech that people should be inspired, "not bullied", into feeling British.


SEE ALSO
Brown speech promotes Britishness
14 Jan 06 |  UK Politics
Cameron speaks out on patriotism
27 Jan 06 |  UK Politics
Straw calls for 'British story'
25 Jan 07 |  UK Politics
Schools 'must teach Britishness'
25 Jan 07 |  Education

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