Young Muslims from Birmingham have been recruited to advise ministers on ways of improving the lives of young people in the city and ending discrimination.
They include a trainee solicitor and a university student.
The Young Muslim Advisory Group has been created by Local Government Secretary Hazel Blears and Schools Secretary Ed Balls. It will include 22 young men and women aged between 16 and 25 years old, who will talk to ministers and policy-makers about issues affecting their day-to-day lives.
They include Talha Ghannam, aged 18, from Solihull, who is studying maths and economics at the London School of Economics. He is a member of the Solihull Muslims Community Association and a consultant for the National Youth Agency.
He said: “My aim is to use the Young Muslim Advisory Group to create a platform recognised by government to promote these kind of activities across the UK and allow for a wider outreach to the general public.
“I envisage this programme reaching out to a much wider audience of people outside of the mosques such as schools, community centres, churches and so on.”
The group also includes Aisha Iqbal, aged 24, from in Selly Park. She is a member of Hear My Voice, an organisation that encourages young people to have a say on issues that matter to them.
She said: “As a Young British Muslim of Asian decent, I have experienced first hand many of the struggles that hundreds of other women like me face on a daily basis. Since 9/11, my faith has been constantly scrutinised and misrepresented by the media, thus fuelling mistrust and suspicion of Muslims in the wider community.
“I have regularly found myself to be answering many questions and presenting the peace-loving nature of Islam.”
The third Birmingham adviser is Abdullah Saif, aged 22, from Hall Green. As well as working as a trainee solicitor for the last year he has been a cub scouts leader for the Birmingham 304th Muslim cub scouts group.
Ms Blears said: “Ensuring young Muslims have access to constructive, democratic channels for dealing with concerns and frustrations is crucial to our efforts to build strong, resilient communities”.
Muslim communities in the UK have an unusual age profile compared to the rest of the UK population, according to statistics released by the Communities and Local Government department.
One third of the Muslim UK population of 1.6 million is under the age of 16, compared with the England average of 20 per cent, while 54 per cent are under the age of 25 years and 70 per cent are under the age of 35 years.