Terror linked Imam of radical mosque in Miami fighting deportation seeks help of Congressman Kendrick Meek
July 15, 2009
For more in the Foad Farahi case see:
Radical cleric Foad Farahi appeals for asylum in the U.S. with the help of the American wing of The Muslim Brotherhood (MAS)
"On his facebook page Imam Foad Farahi writes that he is a fan of radical hate clerics Yusuf Al Qaradawi ,Tariq Al Suweidan and bin Laden protege Ahmed Deedat. He was slated for deportation and classified as a Level 3 threat. Farahi is fighting to stay in the United States and claim asylum. The Muslim American Society (MAS) The American wing of the Muslim Brotherhood is in the forefront of providing Farahi with legal aid and keeping his case in the public eye."
Miami -Dade imam's life in limbo as he faces deportation to Iran
BY JARED GOYETTE
As the political crisis in Iran turns toward a slow boil, a North Miami Beach imam is closely watching events unfold there. U.S. authorities could deport him at any moment to the Islamic republic, a country he has never visited.
Foad Farahi, 34, a doctoral student at Florida International University, will be part of a delegation meeting with staff members of Miami Democrat Kendrick Meek on Tuesday to discuss the conditions in detention centers maintained by the Department of Homeland Security. He will bring up his case, and is hoping to garner the congressman's support.
"All I am asking right now is a right to a hearing," Farahi said.
Farahi was born in Kuwait to an Iranian father and a Syrian mother and moved to Miami 16 years ago on a student visa.
Since Kuwait only grants citizenship to children who have a Kuwaiti father, Farahi is considered an Iranian national, despite the fact that he has never been to Iran and doesn't speak Farsi.
His problems with immigration authorities in the United States began in 2001, when he learned that he would not be able to reinstate his student visa because he had not taken enough credits in his final semester as an undergraduate. Faced with deportation to Iran, he applied for political asylum.
Farahi claims that at his asylum hearing in November of 2007, he was blindsided when a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement prosecutor offered him a deal to leave the country within 30 days, or face arrest for ‘'support of terrorist groups." Fahari said he was intimidated into withdrawing his asylum petition, and that he may have been targeted because he had refused to serve as an informant for the FBI. ICE officials have denied his accusations.
Farahi's lawyer, Ira Kurzban, is fighting to have his petition request considered. An immigration court ruled against him in October of 2007, and he has since appealed his case. A district court judge had initially granted Farahi protection from deportation after Kurzban filed a motion for habeas corpus, but that protection has been rendered moot as the case is now being heard by a circuit court.
Farahi's case is proceeding at a time of increased tensions between the United States and Iran. According to Charles MacDonald, a professor at FIU and a specialist on the Middle East, the chance that Farahi could be detained by Iranian authorities has increased since protesters challenged the legitimacy of presidential elections held there on June 24.
"He would absolutely be in jeopardy if he goes back," said MacDonald, who submitted an affidavit in support of Farahi's case.
While Farahi waits for his case to be decided, he is depending on his family in Kuwait for financial support.
"My life is on hold," he said. "I could be detained, deported, I'm just waiting for the decision. I cannot have a long-term plan because my life could be interrupted at any time."