Ministers are to send serving Muslim soldiers into schools around the country to counter Islamaphobia in the wake of the killing of Lee Rigby, The Independent has learnt.

Muslim servicemen and women will be asked to address school assemblies alongside their Christian colleagues in parts of the country that have seen a significant rise in religious hate crimes. They are likely to include past and present Muslim soldiers who have served in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as some who were injured.

The plans, which are at an advanced stage, will be discussed next week at the second meeting of the Government's taskforce on tackling extremism and radicalisation. Reports of anti-Muslim attacks and abuse increased eight-fold in the wake of the death of Fusilier Rigby in Woolwich, south-east London. A month later they were still running at 36 per week.

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