An organisation of mosques says it “unequivocally” rejects government proposals to require madrassas in England to be registered and inspected.
The Northern Council of Mosques, representing 400 mosques, says this “encroaches” on religious freedom.
The Muslim supplementary schools would have to comply with plans for tighter scrutiny over “out-of-school education settings” if the plans were introduced.
The government’s consultation on the proposals closes on Monday.
And the Department for Education has indicated that it makes “no apology” for wanting to ensure children are properly protected.
David Cameron has warned that “teaching intolerance” had to be stopped.
But in a response, the mosque leaders say the plans are based on “the flawed assumption that radicalisation takes place within some madrassas” and that such “control and monitoring” over lessons would “effectively lead to a form of state sanctioned religious expression”.
They say the registration and inspection plan “unduly encroaches on the legitimate right of faith providers to teach their children their faith”.
The mosque leaders also take issue with the use of the term “extremism” saying it is vaguely defined and “potentially all-encompassing”.
In his speech to the Conservative party conference, the prime minister called for such places of religious education to be registered and open to inspection, in a speech warning against the risk of extremist teaching.
He claimed that in some madrassas, children were “having their heads filled with poison and their hearts filled with hate”.
This was followed by plans from the Department for Education for the compulsory registration of out-of-school places of education, such as madrassas, which currently operate outside of the oversight of the authorities.
It would give inspectors powers to ensure that children were “properly safeguarded” and would allow sanctions to be imposed, such as barring individuals from teaching or shutting down such centres where failings were found.
As well as stopping “unsuitable staff” and “undesirable teaching” it would mean preventing corporal punishment.
Such regulation would apply to places where children were regularly taught six to eight hours a week – and not to occasional or less frequent sessions.