MARKS & Spencer has sparked an online row after it emerged the store is selling school uniform hijabs for young girls.

The company's social media pages have been flooded with messages regarding the black headscarf, which is on sale for just £6 in their 'School Essentials' section.

M&S say they are selling the hijab after a 'number of schools requested the option'.

But radio presenter Maajid Nawaz has criticised the move,saying it 'facilitates medievalism'.

He said: "Itís their right to choose profit over values. But itís our right to shame them for doing so. Little girls are told it is ďimmodestĒ to show their hair. And blessed be the fruit.

"To be clear, these are stocked for little girls as young as three years old.

"Hijab is still imposed (only on women) by law in Iran and Saudi Arabia, and many other countries.

"This is gender apartheid. Marks and Spencer are free to sell confederate flag tee-shirts too, but I bet they never will."

And some customers have threatened to boycott the store until it is removed from stock.

Lorraine Smith wrote: "Disgusting. How could you profit from something that promotes degradation to woman and children? It's obscene!

"For a company struggling with profits, bad move. I and many others will boycott until it is removed. Unbelievable."

Melissa Turnbull, from Renfrewshire in Scotland, posted on the store's Facebook page: "I won't be shopping in your stores until you stop this."

And Cassy Simmons-Thornton, from London, added: "Can you please explain why you are selling a hijab for young children and helping the oppression of women from a young age?

"A lot of people will now boycott your stores."

But @Sandchick4 argued on Twitter: "Hijab is not primarily about modesty. Itís about obedience to God."

And addressing the complaints on their Twitter page on Thursday, Marks & Spencer wrote: "We provide bespoke uniforms for 250 schools across the country.

"They tell us which items they need as part of their school uniform list, and for a number of schools this year, they requested the option of the hijab."