RUTH Kelly will entreat Muslims to find a "new level" in efforts to root out extremists today as she seeks to draw a line under increasingly bitter religious rows.
The Communities Secretary is to seek common ground with all faiths by insisting that extremism is the "biggest security issue" everyone faces.
Ms Kelly will tell a meeting of representatives from 20 "key" local councils, including Kirklees, that responsibility for ensuring community cohesion must be "shared".
She will urge them to consider whether they are doing enough to tackle extremism in schools, colleges and universities, and if they have identified "hot spot" neighbourhoods and sections of the community which could be breeding grounds.
Kirklees chief executive Rob Vincent is to attend the summit meeting.
Council leader Robert Light said: "We have not had the problems of other areas but we do have a high level of etnic communities. We can have an input into national policies and hopefully influence the way the Government is dealing with the issue".
Mrs Kelly is due to say: "In major parts of Britain the new extremism we're facing is the single biggest security issue for local communities.
"This is not just a problem for Muslim communities. The far right is still with us, still trying to create and exploit divisions.
"Extremism is an issue for all of us. We all must play our part in responding to it."
The minister's comments come after nearly two weeks in which religious tensions has gradually reached boiling point.
A Muslim teaching assistant's refusal to remove her veil became the focal point yesterday for increasingly bitter exchanges between senior politicians and Muslim groups.
The Government's race minister demanded 24-year-old Aishah Azmi - already suspended - be sacked, accusing her of "denying the right of children to a full education".
Phil Woolas said Ms Azmi's stand meant she could not "do her job" at Headfield Church of England junior school in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, and insisted barring men from working with her would amount to "sexual discrimination".
But the Muslim Council of Britain quickly condemned Mr Woolas for his "reckless" foray into a "matter that should be decided by the school - and if necessary by the courts".
Ms Kelly's Department for Communities and Local Government immediately signalled it would not be cowed by responding: "It's far better to debate the issues than sweep them under the carpet when the question of children's education is at stake."
Meanwhile, Shadow Home Secretary David Davis launched a stinging attack on Muslim leaders for risking "voluntary apartheid" in Britain, and expecting special protection from criticism.
Mr Davis warned in an article for the Sunday Telegraph that "closed societies" were being created in the UK.
In an apparent hardening of the Conservatives' attitude to radical Islam, Mr Davis also supported Jack Straw's practice of asking female Muslim constituents to lift their veils during private discussions.
Labour's Lord Ahmed, the first Muslim peer, delivered a furious broadside against politicians and the media yesterday for "demonising" the community.
He told BBC Radio 4's Sunday programme: "Let's be honest, there are people in our community who call themselves Muslims who have been threatening our national security. It is very unfortunate.
"But the problem is that the politicians and some people in the media have used this for demonisation of entire communities, which has become a very fashionable thing today."