Speaking ahead of the country’s biggest annual gathering of Muslims this weekend, Naseer Dean, the London head of the influential Ahmadiyya Muslim group, launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May.
He argued that Tory ministers had allowed for the radicalisation of 4,000 young British Muslims by failing to grasp the scale of the problem of religious extremism.
He accused the media regulator Ofcom of being “reactive” rather than proactive and attacked the Home Office for cutting off funding to vital services aimed at monitoring extremist preachers. And he called on the Government to “educate itself” about Islam so that “they have a better handle of what is going on in the mosques”.
Shortly after the General Election, the Prime Minister announced plans for tough new rules to tackle extremism, claiming Britain had become a “passively tolerant” society. But, in an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, Mr Dean rubbished the proposals as “a knee-jerk reaction”.
“They are expecting the local authority and everybody to be monitors and to snoop, which is not the way to go,” he said.
“They need to find out what is going on in the mosques and a lot of the clerics that are coming to the United Kingdom are being allowed to come here.” The group claims to be the “antithesis of extremism” and last month called for all children to have to pledge their loyalty to the UK in school assemblies.
Rafiq Hayat, president of the organisation, said: “The Ahmadiyya Muslim community is putting into practice the Islamic principles that gives peace, inclusivity, tolerance and progressive intellectual thinking pride of place.”
The intervention by Mr Dean risks upsetting the Government’s plans to crackdown on hate preachers.