The increasing isolation of Britain's Muslim community is leading to stepped-up attacks against Muslims and a sense that Muslims can act like "idiots" against outsiders in some parts of the city, British government and Muslim leaders say.

Parts of London's East End have turned into Muslims-only zones, they say, where gays and lesbians are harassed, men are forced to pour alcoholic drinks down the gutter and women have been ordered to cover their bare skin.

That has helped widen the gap between Muslims and non-Muslims, said Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Britain's Minister for Faith and Communities, and led to a "slippery slope" that enables extremists on both sides to advance "their twisted interests unchecked."

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