UK Muslim women
UK Prime Minister David Cameron said in an article on Monday that Muslim women in the country should learn English. In picture: Cameron listens during a discussion with members of the local community on a visit to Luton, north of London, on October 19, 2015.Reuters

British Prime Minister David Cameron sent out a strong message to Muslim families with "backward attitudes" living in the UK, flaying them for stopping women from learning English and warning that those who fail to learn the language will not be able to live in Britain for long. 

In an article penned in The Times on Monday, Cameron denounced extremist measures of Muslim men who enforced "damaging control" over the women in their families. 

"Where in the world do you think the following things are happening? Young women only allowed to leave their house in the company of a male relative. Religious councils that openly discriminate against women and prevent them from leaving abusive marriages. The answer, I am sorry to say, is Britain,"  the British prime minister said.

He said that Britain will not tolerate gender discrimination, citing the "appalling practice" of female genital mutilation and noting that 22% of Muslim women in the country could speak "little or no English." 

"This is Britain. In this country, women and girls are free to choose how they live," Cameron said. 

"We will now say: if you don't improve your fluency, that could affect your ability to stay in the UK. This will help make it clear to those men who stop their partners from integrating that there are consequences," he said. 

Cameron also put the onus on migrants coming to the UK to learn English in order to extend their stay in the country or to become permanent citizens, and announced a £20 million fund for English classes to help in their integration in the country. 

Cameron's article comes a week after he said he met "brilliant Muslim women role models" who "painted an alarming picture of forced gender segregation, discrimination and social isolation from mainstream British life."

As per the 2011 census, 2.71 million Muslims live in England and in Wales.

According to the Office for Nationals Statistics, 636,000 people immigrated to the UK between June 2014 and June 2015. 

The UK has also planned to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees over the next five years, though refugee agencies have reportedly called the decision "inadequate".