ATTEMPTS by the Government to engage with the Muslim community have backfired and are driving people into the arms of violent extremists, it was claimed today.
A report by the think tank Demos said government initiatives since the July 7 attacks in London by four West Yorkshire suicide bombers had tended to "drive a wedge" between Muslims and the wider community.
The report - which was part funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government - accused ministers of failing to engage with Muslims over "reasonable" grievances, including British foreign policy in Iraq and elsewhere.
The Government's attempts to involve Muslims in policy-making were criticised as being "rushed, conducted on the Government's terms, failing to break away from 'the usual suspects' and with little follow through".
The report said: "In the meeting rooms of Whitehall, ministers were assuring Muslim leaders of the need for partnership, but in press briefings they were talking of the need for Muslims to 'get serious' about terrorism, spy on their children, and put up with inconveniences in the greater good of security."