The claim that Muslims are discriminated against by the police is undermining the fight against terrorism, a senior Scotland Yard officer has said.
Chief Superintendent Simon Humphrey said it is 'wholly unacceptable' to paint Asians as victims and accused police chiefs who do so of undermining the efforts of their colleagues.
His remarks were aimed at two prominent Metropolitan Police officers who have given warnings about 'Islamophobia' and against plans for profiling air passengers to direct security checks against those most likely to be terrorists.
Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur said last week that prejudice against Muslims had created a 'generation of angry young people' open to extremist ideas.
Chief Superintendent Ali Dizaei said that singling out some passengers for security checks would create an offence of 'travelling whilst Asian'.
Mr Humphrey's sharp rebuke carries particular weight because he speaks on behalf of 330 Met superintendents. His comments appeared to show the majority of senior officers agree with public support for profiling.
Mr Humphrey said the comments of his colleagues were divisive and inflammatory and wrecking the work of officers trying to build relationships with those they police.
He told the Daily Mail: ' Unfortunately a small, extremely vocal and potentially very influential minority are trying to hijack the terrorism issue and turn it into a debate on racism.
'They are undermining the objectives of the organisation and rank and file officers who are doing their utmost to police fairly.
'I think to skew and hijack the debate around community alienation, stereotyping and demonising Islam - and all this new language which is coming into play - is not helpful.
'It is wholly unacceptable to continue to portray the Asian community as victims. There are too many personal agendas at play without due consideration of everyday public safety.
'Right-minded people of all creeds and colours will be very surprised that senior officers are reacting in this way because right-minded citizens put security in this country first.
'These comments undermine the work of every police officer walking the streets of every community in the United Kingdom.
'If I was one of those police officers, I would wonder why the debate around ethnicity and marginalisation is being raised.
'What is essentially an operational policing issue should not be turned into a debate about
race and religion. Although these feature as part of a complex backdrop, let's not lose sight of the fact that this is about criminality and mass murder.'
Mr Humphrey was a key aide to former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Lord Stevens, who has called for ' intelligenceled' security checks to be directed at those who best fit the profiles of terrorists.
The debate about profiling has brought protests from some Muslim leaders, who warn of anger among young Muslims and an outlet for prejudice against Islam.
Mr Ghaffur, the country's most senior Asian policeman, made his views known in a speech three days before last week's arrest of 24 suspects over an alleged bomb plot.
He warned of a 'real risk' of police criminalising ethnic minorities.
Chief Superintendent Dizaei, a prominent figure in the National Black Police Association, called profiling ' unpalatable' and said it would alienate communities whose help is needed to fight terrorism.
The two senior officers making the remarks about anti-muslim prejudice are almost certainly there as the result of "positive discrimination" policies, designed to promote ethnic minorities at the expense of other candidates and regardless of merit.
Unfortunately, it demonstrates perfectly the fact that these people are Muslims first, British a poor second.
And it fits the Islamic "good guy/bad guy" modus operandi perfectly. The so-called "moderate Muslims" soften up the victim, creating a climate in which it's unacceptable to criticise Muslims. This creates the space for the radicals to plan and carry out their murderous acts.
It's time to get rid of the "moderate muslim" myth. The enemy is Islam and all who follow it are members of the army of the prophet in some capacity.