"I think the real issue is, does the government have the right to pressure people... to make them informants?" Kurzban says. "It's clearly modus operandi of the FBI to (a) recruit people who are going to be informants and (b) to use whatever leverage they can."

In late September, the end of Ramadan signaled the five-year anniversary since the FBI approached Farahi. "I'm not bitter about what has happened," the imam insists.

Dressed in khaki pants and a white buttoned-down shirt, he walks barefoot through the mosque as members begin to arrange food on folding banquet tables. After sundown, everyone will eat and drink together to break the fast. Farahi is distracted as he waves at attendees and hugs others entering the mosque.

Imam Foad Farahi says he turned down the FBI's invitation to be an informant.
C. Stiles
Imam Foad Farahi says he turned down the FBI's invitation to be an informant.
Attorney Ira Kurzban is helping Farahi fight the government's efforts to deport him to Iran.
C. Stiles
Attorney Ira Kurzban is helping Farahi fight the government's efforts to deport him to Iran.

"I'm not bitter," he repeats after a few moments. "I wouldn't say I'm bitter at all. But I'm tired. I want to live my life in this country. I want to stay here. That's all."

Farahi stops and waves to another man. The imam shakes his head quickly. "I wish the case would be over," he says. "I just wish I could stay here."

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