Muslim leaders in Birmingham have criticised the Chief Inspector of Schools for claiming Islamic schools could undermine Britain's "coherence as a nation".
David Bell, head of the schools inspection service Ofsted, said he feared Islamic education gave Muslim children "little appreciation" of their obligations to British society.
In a speech to the Hansard Society in central London, Mr Bell called on the Government to monitor Muslim schools carefully to ensure children were learning about Britain.
The comments were supported by Coun Les Lawrence, Birmingham City Council's Cabinet member responsible for schools. But they were described as "unfortunate" by Mohammed Naseem, the chairman of Birmingham's Central Mosque.
Birmingham became the first education authority in the country to fund a Muslim coeducational secondary school four years ago, when the council agreed to support Al-Hijrah school, in Bordesley Green. The authority also runs Al-Furqan Primary School, in Tyseley.
Mr Bell said: "Faith should not be blind. I worry that many young people are being educated in faith-based schools, with little appreciation of their wider responsibilities and obligations to British society.
"Britain's diversity has the potential to be one of its greatest strengths. But diverse does not need to mean completely different and it certainly must not mean segregated or separate.
"Religious segregation in schools, for example, must not
put our coherence at risk."
Mr Bell said his next annual report will urge Muslim schools to reform their lessons to give children "a broad general knowledge of public institutions and services in England".
These schools must help their pupils "to acquire an appreciation of and respect for
other cultures in a way that promotes tolerance and harmony", he said.
The country now has about 300 independent faith schools, including more than 50 Jewish schools, about 100 Muslim schools and over 100 Evangelical Christian schools, he said.
Mr Bell said the Government must monitor these new faith schools to make sure pupils are taught about "other faiths and the wider tenets of British society".
Mr Bell went on to say that there should be no tolerance of "attitudes and values that demean the place of certain sections of our community, be they women or people living in non-traditional relationships".
Dr Naseem said: "Muslims schools do not harm social cohesion and neither do Jewish or Christian schools.
"Why he is picking up on Muslim schools, I do not understand?
"Why would teaching children the principles of their faith affect community cohesion?
"It's unfortunate that he has made these comments."
But Coun Lawrence, Birmingham's cabinet member for education and lifelong learning, said: "I have raised similar concerns about the faith-based schools which have been introduced in Birmingham over the past decade.
"I would support measures to ensure the education offered at these schools follows the core curriculum and reflects a wide range of faiths, interests and the wider aspects of society.
"It should be an outwardlooking education, not an insular one."