default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Lodi Mosque members petition for elections

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Monday, October 9, 2006 10:00 pm

The Lodi Muslim Mosque is facing more legal battles. In the latest action, a group of disgruntled members who are angry at the current mosque leadership served a petition demanding mosque president Mohammed Shoaib hold elections.

The petition, served on Sept. 23, gives the mosque 20 days to hold board of directors' elections or legal action can be taken, according to lawyer for the mosque members Robert Foster.

Foster said that, as a registered nonprofit organization, the mosque has bylaws that require elections to be held annually or when 10 percent of the membership calls for them. He said his clients, including mosque members Taj Khan and Aman Khan (no relation), have the option of taking the case to San Joaquin County Superior Court if the mosque leadership does not comply with the petition.

"It is an ongoing, complex dispute," Foster said. "We are hoping the other individuals understand that free elections are in the benefit of everyone."

Mosque treasurer Nick Qayyum said current mosque leaders announced the intention to hold elections last November, but no one came forward so they stayed on.

Shoaib said that he does not plan to act on the petition.

"The petition means nothing," he said. "The elections will never happen until the court says so."

Foster said he had not discussed with his clients whether to pursue legal action once the 20-day deadline expires.

Taj Khan, who is leading the effort to call for elections, said that more than 130 members signed the petition, constituting 25 percent of the membership. He said that his group retained the services of Foster two months ago. Elections at the mosque haven't been held in two years, according to Taj Khan.

"They have been illegally controlling the mosque," Taj Khan said. "We want to bring in representatives of the people to run it properly. People are afraid to go to the mosque. Some people, who have been members for 20 to 30 years, have been sidelined because they do not have a say in the leadership."

Shoaib said the petition should not be binding because many of the signatories are not members of the board.

"Those people didn't go to the mosque. They didn't pay their $10 fee. They are not members," he said.

This latest skirmish between the two sides vying for control of Lodi's only mosque comes nearly a year after a judge ruled to leave the mosque in the hands of Shoaib. A favorable ruling in that 2005 lawsuit would have removed Shoaib from the board.

In a separate 2005 suit, the mosque sued the Farooqia Islamic Center to return a $187,000 donation. That action is still pending and will next be heard in court in December.

Contact reporter Matt Brown at mattb@lodinews.com.

Timeline of the dispute over the Lodi Muslim Mosque:

• Sept. 23, 2006: Mosque served with petition to hold elections.
• November 2005: Mosque leaders post intention to hold elections; no one comes forward.
• Nov. 1, 2005: San Joaquin County judge rules to leave mosque leadership in the hands of Mohammad Shoaib.
• March 17, 2005: Mosque files lawsuit for the return of $187,000 in donations made to the Farooqia Islamic Center.
• February 2004: Shoaib allegedly offers letter of resignation from mosque but stays on.
- News-Sentinel staff

First published: Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don't pretend you're someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don't insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.

Welcome to the discussion.


Popular Stories


Should graduations return to the Grape Bowl?

Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

Total Votes: 50


Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists