The media has misrepresented the Muslim faith and aggravated the " Islamaphobic" backlash to the July bombings, members of Birmingham ' s Muslim community have claimed.
The accusations were made during the visit of Home Office Minister Paul Goggins to the Victoria Street Mosque in Aston yesterday.
Members of the mosque said they felt let down by the negative and extreme image of Muslims portrayed in television and newspapers.
Mohammed Arif Rafique, a 38 year-old imam at the Victoria Street Mosque, said he felt that the media had failed to understand his faith.
"I have lived and trained in the UK, I have been to university here and I have English friends. However, after the July 7 bombings, the images of Muslims in the media were terrible.
"I realised that the English friends I had lived alongside for so many years didn't understand me or my faith."
Mr Arif Rafique said the communication problems were exacerbated by the English pub culture.
"We need dialogue with non-Muslims to understand each other. But the centre of English social culture is the pub - which is a place Muslims cannot enter.
"If it were a cafe culture we could have a cup of tea, sit down and talk. We need guidance on how to get around this," he said.
Mr Goggins said misrepresentation in the media had been a strong theme during his visits to Muslim communities across the UK.
He stressed that the Government was working with the Society of Editors to address the issue, but that communities also had an obligation to represent themselves.
"The Muslim community should not wait around to be described," he said.
"There has been evidence during my trips that the local media is keen to understand Islam.
"Members of the Muslim community need to explain what Islam is about and the positive contributions Muslims are making to their community." Many present expressed their concern at the term "Muslim terrorist" - believing that those who carry out attacks can not be considered Muslims.
While Mr Goggins stressed that the majority of Muslims are peace loving people, he said the connection between Islam and the July 7 bombers could not be ignored.
"We have to face the fact that four young British-born Muslims from Leeds blew themselves up along with many innocent people," he said.
"We must understand why they did that, what they believed and who may share their views."
He thanked Muslim leaders for their condemnation of the bombings and called for the community to help the Government root out extremists.
"We need to find ways to confront the terrorist element in this country."