Muslim holy men who arrive in Britain from overseas have "little knowledge" of the rights of women and children, says MP Ann Cryer.

The Keighley and Ilkley MP is calling for foreign imams to be educated on child-protection issues and the way women are treated in the UK before they come to Britain.

And she warned that the outdated views of some imams, including those preaching in Keighley, could be stopping many Muslims integrating into the wider community.

But a leading member of Bradford Council of Mosques disagreed with Mrs Cryer, saying she should learn more about Islam.

Mrs Cryer, a Labour backbencher, said: "Imams should have a knowledge of child protection, of how we regard the rights of women.

"Imams and others should encourage integration as opposed to segregation."

She said some imams in her own constituency had acted in a way that would not be expected in the UK. She said: "Over many years I have not been given any help by many of the imams who have been brought in, many of whom don't speak a word of English and have little knowledge of what life in Britain is all about, particularly for their young members.

"I have problems with girls coming to me about parents forcing them into a marriage and when they have gone to see an imam to get help they have taken the side of the parents.

"We have got to get away from this sort of attitude. We have to help our communities to integrate, to live in cohesion with the rest of our communities.

"I think that some of these imams coming in, particularly from Mirpur, where there is very little education, are part of the problem rather than the solution."

But Khadim Hussain, of Bradford Council of Mosques, said he believed most imams and scholars coming to work in England would be already aware of how women and children should be treated.

"The Islamic education already tells you how to behave but the only problem maybe they face is language," he said. "They must have a knowledge about the English language."

Mr Hussain said Mrs Cryer's view that imams were often siding with parents and forcing a girl to marry was not correct.

"I think she's focusing in the wrong way," he said. "I think she should learn more about Islam."

He said most imams would not side with parents for the sake of a forced and unwanted marriage. "I believe that he would have given her the right advice," he said.