In a joint statement here, they also demanded immediate lifting of the ''unjust'' ban on SIMI, which grossly ''violates the principles of justice and fair-play''. The Muslim leaders said the ban on SIMI, imposed by the BJP-led NDA government in 2001, was part of its communal-fascist'' agenda. ''It was expected that the Congress-led UPA government, which swears by democratic and secular values and projects itself as champion of minority rights, will lift this unjust ban after gaining power at the Centre. Unfortunately, this did not happen.'' On the contrary, they said the Congress-led government re-imposed the ban on SIMI on ''flimsy'' grounds and despite the fact that there were no fresh cases against the organisation.
''The so-called secular (Congress) government thus blindly imitated the unjust action of the previous BJP regime. The Congress mentality was thus exposed as opportunistic and unprincipled.'' The Muslim leaders urged the public opinion-makers and human rights groups to oppose the ban on SIMI and discourage the UPA government from pursuing the ''fascist'' agenda of the BJP regime.
''If the government persists with its anti-Muslim stance, it will give a clear signal that it has no real respect for Muslim sentiments and its frequent expressions of a sympathy towards the minorities are just an eyewash,'' they said.
The statement was signed by All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat Dr Zafarul Islam Khan, former AIMMM president Syed Shahubuddin, All India Milli Council secretary general Dr Manzoor Alam, Jamaat-e-Islami hind general secretary Maulan Nusrat Ali, Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadith general secretary Maulan Ali Asghar Imam Mehdi, Shahi Imam of the Fathehpuri Masjid Maulana Mufti Mukarram Ahmed, AIMPLB working committee member DR S Q R Ilyas, Majli-e-Fikro Amal president Maulana Syed Zeeshan Hidyati and Muslim Political Council president Dr Tasleem Rahmani.