London: Every Muslim in Britain should be made to take counter-extremism lessons at school to prevent radicalisation, a Pakistani politician and senior Islamic scholar has said.

Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that lessons on “peace”, “counter-terrorism” and “deradicalisation” should be made part of the national curriculum in state schools.

He said the subjects should be made compulsory for all Muslim students in the country and optional for non-Muslim children.

It comes as more than 700 Britons have travelled to the Middle East to fight alongside Isil, with around half believed to have returned to the UK.

David Cameron recently criticised Muslim communities who “quietly condone” extremism and defended British authorities who have been blamed by the families of some who have fled east.

Dr Qadri, a Pakistani politician and Sufi Islamic scholar, told BBC Radio Four’s Today programme that Britain should tackle the problem of radicalisation early through the state education system.

He said that while the Muslim community should bear responsibility for talking the problem “first of all” the government can also act through schools.

“It should be on the curriculum. Peace should be taken as peace studies as a subject. Deradicalsation should be taken as a subject. Counter-terrorism should be taken as a subject,” Dr Qadri said.

“The problem is that we have not been addressing this issue on the theological front and on the ideological front. We have been taking it just as a political, economic and social issue.”

He later added: “We should try to influence the generations – whether second or third of fourth – to always be peaceful and always condemn the act of extremism, act of terrorism wherever it is.

“It should be put on the curriculum, it should be made compulsory for Muslim generations, Muslim students, and it should be made optional for non-Muslim students.”

“But they should be taught the actual real teachings of the Koran … based on love and tolerance and coexistence and togetherness.”

Such a move could prove controversial, with some likely to warn forcing Muslim children to take anti-extremism lessons away from other children could further alienate them.

However the proposals reflect a growing unease about the scale of the problem of radicalisation in Britain and elsewhere with the emergence and establishment of Isil.

Mr Cameron used a major speech in Bratislava, Slovakia, last week to call on more to be done by Muslim communities themselves to stop radicalisation.

“We’ve always had angry young men and women buying into supposedly revolutionary causes. This one is evil, is it contradictory, it is futile but it is particularly potent today,” the Prime Minister said.

“I think part of the reason it’s so potent is that it has been given this credence.

"So if you’re a troubled boy who is angry at the world or a girl looking for an identity, for something to believe in, and there’s something that is quietly condoned online or perhaps even in parts of your local community then it’s less of a leap to go from a British teenager to an Isil fighter or an Isil wife than it would be for someone who hasn’t been exposed to these things.”

A Department of Education spokesperson said: “All schools must actively promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance for those of different faiths and beliefs.

“Ofsted inspect schools to ensure they comply with this requirement, where schools do not we take swift action, which may involve changing the school leadership or closing the school.

“In addition from 1 July all schools will have a statutory duty to prevent pupils from being drawn into terrorism - this will include safeguarding against radicalisation and checking the speakers they bring in to school.”

Courtesy The Telegraph