Muslim politicians have condemned claims by a former Birmingham vicar that Islam is receiving preferential treatment at the expense of Christianity.

Guy Wilkinson, former vicar of Small Heath, said the Government had given "privileged attention" to Muslim communities and spent public money in an attempt to win them over.

He is now interfaith advisor to the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams and made the comments in a report for the House of Bishops.

But the claims were denied by MP Khalid Mahmood (Lab Perry Barr), who said: "It's simply not true that the Government has diverted funding to Muslim organisations."

Birmingham councillor Salma Yaqoob (Respect Sparkbrook) said: "There is attention focused on Muslims but it's extremely negative and we'd rather not have it."

Mr Wilkinson was the vicar at All Saints in Small Heath from 1994 to 1999. He was previously a curate in Coventry for three years.

In a report called Cohesion and Integration, he listed a number of Government initiatives since the London bombings last year, such as shelving legislation on forced marriage, and claimed these efforts have undermined their interfaith agenda and produced no "noticeable impact on community cohesion".

The report argued that efforts to integrate Muslims since the attacks have had "no positive impact" on community relations.

It said: "Indeed one might argue that disaffection and separation is now greater than ever, with Muslim communities withdrawing further into a sense of victimhood, and other faith communities seriously concerned that the Government has given signals that appear to encourage the notion of a privileged relationship with sections of the Muslim community."

According to reports, the document was presented to a meeting of the House of Bishops last week and was "well received".

It followed a week in which Jack Straw, Leader of the Commons, sparked controversy by describing the Muslim women's veil as "a visible statement of separation and of difference" between Muslim and non-Muslim communities.

It also followed reports a Muslim police officer was excused from taking part in guard duty at the Israeli embassy in London.

Mr Mahmood said: "The examples in this report are mainly anecdotal.

"There may be a perception that the Government focuses its attention on Muslims because of everything going on at the moment, but there is no extra funding for Muslims or anything like that.

"Funding for Church of England projects such as youth organisation is much higher than for any Muslim organisation."

Coun Yaqoob said: "It's quite frightening that the way for politicians to make a name for themselves at the moment seems to be to attack Muslims.

"We didn't ask for this attention."

Last night, a Church of England spokesman said: "The issue of community cohesion is a vital subject in which all sections of society should be fully engaged. This internal briefing note, produced by a church official, is not designed as an attack on the Government, but as a contribution to debate.

"It does not represent church policy but seeks to set out a starting point for further discussion within the church, with other faith groups, with the Commission and with the Government more widely."