Where does the Taliban get recruits? In mosques and madrassas, says this profile of a Taliban recruiter in Pakistan from Asia Times.
“Abdul Zahir’s day starts with morning visits to a number of mosques in the Pakistani border area with Afghanistan, where the faithful gather for the first of their five daily prayer sessions. And once his morning session is over, he goes to some of the many madrassas (religious schools) in the area, or shows up at social gatherings, such as weddings, if there are any taking place.
“Abdul is unflagging in his rounds because he has an almost missionary zeal: to find recruits for jihad – or holy war – waged by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Himself blinded in one eye from action in Afghanistan, Abdul tells prospective recruits: ‘You might fight at the front line, or you might stand guard at night. You can cook for other Islamic warriors, or you can be a male nurse. Or you can give the fighters money or grain – everything is welcome because the jihad has started.'”
Evidently he has no fear that moderate Muslims in the mosques and Islamic schools where he makes appeals will rise up in indignation and repudiate his extremist Islam. (Thanks to nicolei.)