BENGALURU: Numerous Ponzi schemes in Karnataka have duped people of their money, but the I Monetary Advisory (IMA) Group scam has done irreparable damage to middle-class investors while simultaneously eroding public trust in Muslim politicians and ulemas (Islamic scholars). Bengaluru’s ‘Islamic banker’ has fled India, complaints cross 23,000 in IMA scam Politicians of the minority community admitted that their credibility was at stake because some of them had, through their public association with IMA’s founder-owner Mohammed Mansoor Khan, given legitimacy to his criminal enterprise. They said the impact of the swindle by Ambidant Marketing Pvt Ltd, whose business model was similar to IMA’s, would pale in comparison to the negative fallout from the IMA rip-off. IMA office in Shivajinagar “Politicians were spotted with Mansoor at public functions he hosted such as mushairas (poetic symposiums),” a source said. “But Mansoor actually got ulemas to endorse his audit books. Two years ago he brought out a booklet based on these endorsements, stating that all investments in his firm were halal (permissible).” A senior Muslim Congress leader said there is a crisis of confidence among the community towards politicians and ulemas. “Certain ulemas, instead of speaking on the Quran’s teachings in their Friday sermons, asked their congregations to pray for the welfare of Mansoor and his companies,” he said. “Some of them even issued fatwas endorsing his business, when most of them were unaware of how financial institutions should operate.” Hundreds of investors have filed a police complaint at the convention center Sources said a majority of Muslim politicians were beneficiaries of Mansoor’s largesse either through election funding or projects like renovation of government schools. “The fact that they were seen with Mansoor gave confidence to people who had some savings,” one source said. Complaint letters submitted by investors in IMA ponzi scam are piling up at Commercial Street Police Station In Karnataka, Muslim political leadership has largely been the monopoly of the Congress. But Muslim leaders have never been able to unite as a consolidated entity. “Jealousy among leaders, political machinations to upstage one another and a generation gap are the reasons that the community does not speak in one voice,” a source said. That the Congress gave just one ticket to the community in the recent Lok Sabha polls, when the norm in the past was two to three, has demotivated Muslim leaders. “The party leadership has taken the community for granted. The Lok Sabha polls, in which many Muslims voted for the BJP, should be an eye-opener,” a source said. Members of the community said there has been no true Muslim leader after former minister Azeez Sait, who passed away in 2001, and was known for his no-nonsense stand on issues. “Money power works now, which is not my style of functioning,” a Muslim Congress leader said. “The Congress sidelined people like K Rahman Khan, CK Jaffer Sharief (when he was alive), CM Ibrahim and K Naseer Ahmed for their forthright views.” Young politicians like Rizwan Arshad, UT Khader, NA Haris and Syed Naseer Hussain wield considerable influence in the party, but are yet to strike a chord with the community, he said.