Commaner of the Faithful
is both a biography of Emir Abd el-Kader and a history of the resistance he led to the French colonization of Algeria in the mid 1800s. President Lincoln, Queen Victoria, Pope Pius IX, Sir Richard Burton, and French prisoners sang his praises. When Abd el-Kader died in 1883, The New York Times hailed him as ‘one of the few great men of the century’. The warrior-saint had won the heart of the French nation, his sworn enemy and the invader of his Algerian homeland. He reached the summit of his fame after he saved the lives of thousands of Christians during a Turkish campaign in Damascus. Elkader, a town in Iowa, is named after him.