Leading Muslim groups attending an anti-terrorism conference in northern India have denounced terrorism as "un-Islamic."

The declaration was made by thousands of scholars and clerics Monday at the country's top Islamic seminary - the 150-year-old Darul-Uloom Deoband in Uttar Pradesh.

Their statement said any terrorist activity targeting innocent people contradicts Islam's concept of peace. It described Islam as a religion of mercy, and it condemned all kinds of oppression, violence and terrorism.

However, the statement also called on the Indian government to ensure that members of the Muslim community are not harassed. It said that whenever there is a terrorist attack, attempts are made to link the attack to Muslims who have studied in madrassas or religious schools.

The declaration also said many innocent Muslims are spending their lives behind bars, having been falsely accused of involvement in acts of terror.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.