Southern Front

He is old—around 70—and frail, relying on a walking stick. But the imam's voice is strong, and the some 50 men, women and boys crammed into a dingy room sit enraptured as he talks for two hours, waving his hands for emphasis and making eye contact with his listeners. The subject matter is familiar: verses of the Koran spliced with denunciations of the war the U.S. and its allies are waging against Islam; the suffering of Muslims worldwide; the sacred duty to struggle against those who would deny Muslims the chance to worship in peace. The preacher's voice—he requested anonymity—rises as...