A Fairfield man who stabbed a Muslim religious leader in the chest outside a local mosque after accusing him of having an affair with his wife, was sentenced Wednesday to 13 years in prison.

"My family and I have been through a lot. We have been abused by DCF (state Department of Children and Families) and the Fairfield police, my oldest son was raped by a state employee and now you want to take me away from my family," Becker Altayeb said as he stood before Superior Court Judge Lawrence Hauser.

While the judge said he sympathized with the defendant`s family, he added, "He could be the best father in the world, but he engaged in a plan to stab somebody. I do not relish separating the defendant from his family, but the senselessness of the crime calls for it."

He sentenced Altayeb to 18 years in prison, suspended after he serves 13 years, followed by five years probation on his conviction for attempted murder and first-degree assault.

"You know what to do!" Altayeb shouted to his wife as he was led away by judicial marshals.

Altayeb, 40, of Grasmere Avenue, Fairfield, was found guilty by Hauser of the 2008 stabbing of Imam Farid Alzoubi outside the Al-Noor mosque on Fairfield Avenue.

Standing before the judge, Alzoubi asked forgiveness for Altayeb.

"I am an Imam and I will act as an Imam and I am forgiving this man, but if there is any way your honor can ensure he hurts no one else I would appreciate it." Altayeb, a former captain in the Jordanian air force, said he didn`t want a jury trial because he has no confidence in this nation`s jury system.

During the two-week trial Senior Assistant State`s Attorney Joseph Corradino presented testimony that Altayeb stabbed Alzoubi in the upper abdomen on July 28, 2008, as the victim left the mosque after presiding over morning prayers.

The victim testified Altayeb accused him of having an affair with his wife, who the victim said he didn`t know. He then stabbed the victim with a kitchen knife and threatened to kill every man with a beard, according to testimony. Altayeb fled in a black Mercedes sedan, police said.

The victim spent 10 days in St. Vincent`s Medical Center for treatment of his wounds.

"A lengthy period of incarceration is needed to safeguard the public from this dangerous man," Corradino told the judge. He urged him to impose a 17 and a half-year prison term.

In 2007, Altayeb was convicted of dousing his wife with gasoline and threatening to set her on fire. He received probation in that case.

In January 2007, Altayeb`s wife, Cari, was arrested on terrorism charges after she was nabbed allegedly sprinkling a white powder outside the offices of the state Department of Children and Families on Middle Street. Police closed off the area of downtown until it was determined the white substance was salt, supposedly a sign of good luck. The charges against the wife were later dropped.

Dr. Nicki Korman, a family therapist was hired by DCF to evaluate the Altayeb`s children following their parents` arrests, but learned the children had been taken to Jordan. So she told Hauser she was given permission to go to Jordan to visit the family.

Altayeb "is a loving, caring father and what the system has done to this man and his children is obscene," she told the judge.