By John W. Kiser
"A dramatic tale . . . any variety of episodes may well motivate novels . . . very unlikely to learn with no taking into consideration extra present events."—The big apple Times
"A precious and well timed reminder . . . of that infrequent determine: a bridge among East and West."—Times Literary Supplement
This well-researched and compelling biography of the Muslim warrior-saint who led the Algerian resistance to French colonization within the mid-nineteenth century sheds gentle on present US involvement with a world Islam. the main recognized "jihadist" of his time, Abd el-Kader was once identified both for his army brilliance and his ethical authority. His big apple instances obituary known as him "one of the few nice males of the century."
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Extra resources for Commander of the Faithful: The Life and Times of Emir Abd el-Kader (1808-1883)
They had come from Cherbourg, Brest, Bayonne and Marseille loaded with thirty-one thousand infantry, twenty-three hundred artillerists, five hundred cavalrymen, over a thousand engineers, one hundred and seventy-four cannons, eighty-two thousand cannonballs, four thousand horses, food and forage supplies for four months, forty translators (few spoke the correct dialects), numerous painters, including the great Horace Vernet, and hundreds of sacrificial dogs for testing water. General Auguste-Louis de Bourmont had been a controversial choice for leading the invasion army.
Kheira, along with his mother, Zohra, and his sister, Khadijah, would be the three women who sustained him during the black days that were to come. All three protested Muhi al-Din’s decision two years later to continue Abd el-Kader’s education by taking him on a pilgrimage to Mecca and beyond: Si Kader was too young; it was too dangerous; he would be gone for two years; he had been married only two years; his older brothers should go first. One can imagine Muhi al-Din respectfully listening to their arguments, yet knowing they were wrong.
The impiety all around was incomprehensible. He saw gambling, even by the poor, and the practice of divination of entrails, activities condemned in the hadith. With drink and gambling, Satan introduces among you the germs of discord… Divination of entrails and fortune telling are acts of the Devil. The pious student from tiny Guetna couldn’t hold back his disgust any longer. One day, Abd el-Kader blurted out a burning question to Ben Khodja. How, he wanted to know, could the Turks be considered defenders of the faith with their loose living and contempt for the local population?