Abd al-Kader

Abd al-Kader äbˌdäl-kädērˈ [key], c.1807–1883, Algerian military and religious leader. Although born to an anti-Turkish family, he was chosen emir of Mascara to fight the French invaders who had just defeated the Turks. From 1832 to 1839, by alternately fighting and coming to terms with the French, he extended his power over much of N Algeria, subduing hostile ethnic groups and organizing the countryside. Well-educated, he reformed his army along Western lines; in 1839 he proclaimed a Muslim holy war. In four years of fighting, General Bugeaud drove Abd al-Kader into Morocco, where he gained the sultan's support. The Moroccan defeat at Isly (1844) soon forced the sultan to repudiate his ally. Abd al-Kader surrendered in 1847 and was imprisoned in France until 1852. Abd al-Kader remains greatly respected by the Algerians.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: North African History: Biographies