Gordon Brown's new minister for race relations has attacked sharia courts, insisting that the Muslim community in Britain is not "advanced" enough to have its own legal system.

Sadiq Khan, whose comments will have added impact because he is a Muslim himself, has also warned that the growing number of tribunals based on Islamic codes could entrench discrimination against women.

Khan, who became minister for community cohesion in the government reshuffle this month, said: "The burden is on those who want to open up these courts to persuade us why they should do it."

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