Just this week Britain's most senior Muslim police officer warned that Islamophobia in Western society had created a "generation of angry young people".

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur called for an independent judicial inquiry into the radicalisation of young Muslims in the wake of the July 7 London bombings.

He said anti-Islamic sentiment was fuelling extremism in a large number of young and vulnerable Muslims.

In a keynote speech to the National Black Police Association conference in Manchester on Monday, Mr Ghaffur said tighter anti-terror laws had indirectly discriminated against Muslims.

And he added that controversies over the Stockwell shooting and the Forest Gate counter-terror raid had eroded "confidence and trust" in some communities.

He said: "The cumulative effect of Islamophobia, both internationally and nationally, linked to social exclusion, has created a generation of angry young people who are vulnerable to exploitation.

"The simplistic anti-Western messages of extremist organisations can be attractive to such vulnerable young people, advocating closed and hostile views of other religions."

He added: "We must think long and hard about the causal factors of anger and resentment.

"In particular, we need to adopt an evidence-based approach to building solutions.

"I therefore support those who are calling for an independent judicial review of the issue of young Muslims and extremism and the wider community dimension."

He added: "There is a very real danger that the counter-terrorism label is also being used by other law-enforcement agencies to the effect that there is a real risk of criminalising minority communities.

"The impact of this will be that just at the time we need the confidence and trust of these communities, they may retreat inside themselves."

Mr Ghaffur also claimed the increased use of controversial stop and search powers and "passenger profiling" techniques under the banner of counter-terrorism had tended to be led more by physical appearance than actual intelligence.

But he also said certain elements in the Muslim community were in "various stages of denial" about the events of 7/7, extremism or the responsibilities of the community at large.

His call for an independent judicial inquiry was backed by Muslim Council of Britain secretary general Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari.

He said: "We, as a society, need to better understand what factors led to the four 7/7 bombers becoming radicalised and how many others may have come under the influence of similar extremist ideas.

"This is surely an essential first step if we are to put a halt to that radicalisation process."

Keith Jarrett, president of the National Black Police Association (NBPA), said minority communities, especially the Muslim community, were "under siege".