This weekend has seen a very important moment for the Islamic community of Britain.

Over a thousand young Muslims have gathered at Warwick University to hear the Pakistan-born Muslim scholar Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri explain why terrorism can never be justified according to the Koran.

Earlier this year Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri issued a 600 page fatwa, which was the first to condemn terrorism under all circumstances. The conference at which he is teaching is aimed not only at explaining his teachings, but also to help young Muslims identify extremism in their own communities and to tackle it with "theological tools".

Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri has encouraged Muslims not only to renounce violence but to integrate into the societies they are living in. He claims that the Koran advocates love, which he says should motivate Muslims to integrate with their neighbours but also keep them from acts of hatred, such as terrorism.

This is a very welcome change from many of the other Muslim "scholars" who have graced the airwaves in Britain in recent years and have been even more active in Britain's mosques.

Until now Muslims have been largely represented by the likes of Abu Hamza, Omar Bakri and Anjem Choudary. What has always been more worrying than the presence of such disagreeable characters is the apparant silence from the rest of the Muslim community, it is a phenomenon which has led many to believe, rightly or wrongly, that the silence indicated at least tacit agreement.

How to deal with a rising Muslim population has become an increasingly important issue in British and European politics. France and Belgium have already taken steps to ban Islamic veils, while similar legislation has been suggested for this country. In Holland Geert Wilders has seen his support surge in recent years, at least in part because many of the people of Holland would agree that more Muslims mean a greater threat to their country in one way or another.

Mr Wilders and his supporters may be dismissed as racists by his detractors and indeed maybe he and some of his supporters are motivated by racism.

However for as long as a community is widely represented by criminals like Hamza and distasteful individuals such as Choudary and those who carry signs reading "behead those who insult Islam", rather than by Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri or the Muslim gentlemen pictured paying his respects to slain British soldiers at Wootton Bassett, one could argue that people have a right to be concerned about the increase of that community's presence in Europe.

It is for that reason that we must welcome Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri and hope that he and others like him become the face of Islam not just for Muslims, but for non-Muslims as well, but more than that we must hope that teachings like his will replace totally those of the extremists.

When this happens the debate about how to deal with Britain's Muslim's will become as irrelevant as how do deal with the Catholics, who in years gone by were also a religious minority associated with terrorism, but now a peaceful and integrated element of society.