Clare Short was under fire again yesterday after she invited an "extremist" Muslim group into the Commons.
T he Birmingham MP hosted a meeting for Hizb utTahrir, which Tony Blair has announced is to be banned under anti-terror laws.
Fellow Birmingham MP Khalid Mahmood (Lab Perry Barr), one of the few Muslims in Parliament, said her decision was "hugely hurtful" to ordinary Muslims.
He said: "Mainstream Muslims find it very difficult to get their voices heard. The media focuses on extremists.
"Now Clare Short is highlighting this extreme group and inviting them into Parliament as if they are representative of Muslims as a whole."
The group is already banned in Germany, Holland and Russia, and has been banned from university campuses in Britain.
Former Cabinet Minister Ms Short, MP for Ladywood in Birmingham, has written to colleagues inviting them to the meeting and claiming the organisation "explicitly rejects the use of violence".
She said in a letter to MPs: "Hizb ut-Tahrir have been approaching parliamentarians to explain who they are and what they believe."
A spokeswoman for Ms Short said: "She has simply facilitated this meeting, so that parliamentarians can decide for themselves whether or not this organisation should be banned.
"She holds no brief for them at all. But she believes it is only right that parliamentarians are able to discuss such a serious decision and decide together."
Mr Mahmood said: "To say these people are now seen as representatives of the Muslim community in Parliament is hugely hurtful to the mainstream of the Muslim community.
"What we need to do is to invite some of the real representatives from the Muslim community, who are struggling to get their voices heard, to speak at this sort of level.
"What Clare is doing, by promoting people on the fringes, doesn't help.
"Furthermore, this group has never advocated voting - it tells people not to vote. So why is a group that opposes the democratic process invited to the centre of democracy?
"Some parents have seen their children taken in by this cult, which is what it is, and removed from their families. This has been an issue for ten years or so."
Ms Short was also criticised by gay rights campaigner and former Labour parliamentary candidate Peter Tatchell, who said Hizb ut-Tahrir had sent him death threats.
In an open letter, he said he read with alarm "that you are hosting a meeting of the misogynistic, homophobic and anti-Semitic Muslim fundamentalist group, Hizb utTahrir, at the House of Commons."
He went on: "If this is true, I am very surprised. Perhaps you are not aware of the true nature of this group, and its anti-democratic and anti-humanitarian goals?"
Mr Tatchell said he had suffered death threats from members of the group in the early to mid 1990s.
Ms Short is known for her outspoken views. In one inter-view two years ago, she condemned terrorist violence as "profoundly, morally wrong" but said al Qaida's anger was justified.
She resigned as International Development Secretary in 2003, following the Iraq war.