TRENTON - The founders of a Trenton mosque have sued in Superior Court in Mercer County to have their religious leader removed, claiming he is trying to make the congregation more fundamentalist.
The suit, filed by the International Muslim Brotherhood Inc., the mosque's owner, as well as three founding members, claims that Imam Sabur Abdul Hakim has recently adopted stricter views of Islam and is planning to beam in lectures via satellite from a conservative sect in Saudi Arabia.
The suit also alleges that Hakim began changing religious practices at the Masjid As-Saffat mosque three years ago and appointed his son-in-law, Shalby Akbar Shalby, as "ameer" last August without an election by the congregants.
A message for Hakim's lawyer, Eric Broadway, was not returned yesterday.
The mosque was founded in 1981 by local Muslims and state employees needing a place to pray and was open to all sects.
The board of trustees had set in place a practice of selecting a rotating slate of people for the mosque's weekly Friday sermon.
In 2004, Hakim decided that he alone would decide who gave the Friday sermon, the suit alleges, and it's usually a person who follows a strict doctrine associated with the Wahhabi movement in Saudi Arabia. *