Something must be done to stop the alarming ‘Talibanisation’ of young British muslims, warns the chair of the British Muslims for Secular Democracy (BMSD).
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown said: “Make no mistake, Taliban devotees are in our schools, playgrounds, homes, mosques, political parties, public service, private firms and universities.
“And if we are to have any hope of combating them, we need to stop this attitude of appeasement and understand why so many Muslims are attracted to the most punishing forms of belief, suppressing women and children.”
Mrs Alibhai-Brown cites a number of concerning cases in which Muslim children have been brutally beaten and disciplined for participating in simple school activities such as theatre or music.
She recounted last November, how on the steps of Tate Britain, she witnessed a scene of a furious Asian father shaking his young son and tearing up the picture his child had drawn.
She said the father explained to her that according to his Islamic mentors, drawing pictures of people was forbidden.
In a separate case Mrs Alibhai-Brown spoke of 13-year-old Femida, who lives in a refuge with her Jordanian mother, a wedding singer.
She said: “Her father, a convert to Islam, had become more and more authoritarian.
“Mother and daughter fled after he took a hammer to the CD player and TV set, and tried to throttle his wife.
“‘He was screaming that he wanted to kill my voice so I could be a good Muslim,’ said Femida.”
Mrs Alibhai-Brown said the “rapid spread of rigid, diehard Islam is deeply worrying”.
She cautioned: “For many of us Muslims, this creeping Talibanisation of childhood is unendurable.”
A BBC investigation revealed that in one London school more than 20 Muslim pupils had been removed from music lessons because their parents felt such teaching to be anti-Islamic.
The Muslim Council of Britain confirmed that music lessons are likely to be unacceptable to ten per cent of Muslims.
Swimming, teddy bears and pets are also described as un-Islamic by hardline Muslim parents.
Mrs Alibhai-Brown asked: “Why are we fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan and indulging Taliban values here?
She insisted: “Even if it offends liberal principles, the powerful must find a way of stopping Islamicists from promulgating their distorted creed.
“If they don’t, the future is bleak for Muslims and the country. Many of us British Muslims care deeply about both”, she warned.