A MUSLIM community worker in Waltham Forest claims he was branded the "enemy" when trying to persuade fellow Muslims to cooperate with the police to fight terrorism.

The man, who is not being named because he is under pressure, told a meeting organised by the Metropolitian Police Authority that Muslims in the borough felt besieged after the anti-terrorism raids in August.

He said: "As a Muslim I find myself under siege sometimes, trying to persuade people within my local community to cooperate and work together with the police to beat terrorism.

"I am, at times, seen as the enemy and have to defend myself against criticism when I talk about both loyalty within our community and the loyalty we should show to the wider state."

The man's work included improving community relations after the multiple arrests across the borough by officers investigating an alleged plot to blow up transatlantic airlines.

He made the comments at the fifth hearing of Counter Terrorism: The London Debate, which focused on Asian men.

Suraj Sehgal, director of the Hindu Council UK, criticised the use of the term "Asian" to define a particular group.

He said: "Asian is not a religion and should not be used in that context. Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims seem to be lumped together when it comes to talking about terrorism and the radicalisation of young Asian men. This causes great distress among Hindu communities."

He then called on all communities to show they were opposed to extremism. "Those not involved in terrorism should come out and demonstrate against those who are," he said.

Tarique Ghaffur, Metro-politan Police Assistant Commissioner and the most senior Asian officer in the country, insisted working with all Londoners was the best way forward.

He said: "We communicate directly with all our communities in order to generate understanding, support and cooperation, as well as encouraging greater public involvement in policing.

"We understand the sensitivities around anti-terrorism work and particularly the use of stop and search. I know it is a contentious power, but it is an important tool we can use to help minimise the risk of terrorist attacks."

MPA member Toby Harris, who chaired the meeting, said: "These hearings have shown us that whatever community or group we are from, we have far more in common than things that divide us.

"Now what we have to do is pull the threads together and support one another to look for solutions that benefit us all."