Praise for "Commander of the Faithful"

"Kiser's book is highly relevant to what is going on in the Islamic world. Abd el-Kader is the embodiment of the true moral, theological and rational ideas taught by Islam. I strongly recommend this book be translated into Arabic, Persian and Urdu."
Muhammad Ammar Khan Nasir, Editor Monthly Al-Sharia , Pakistan.

"I hope and pray we can make Abd el-Kader's life and message more accessible to people in this time when it is so sorely needed. Kiser does a beautiful job of mixing a dramatic narrative with solid scholarship."
Reza Shah-Kazemi, editor of Islamic World Report , author and research associate of the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London; Board of Directors, Matheson Trust UK

"The Emir is a complex combination of warrior, spiritual leader, diplomat and humanitarian rarely found found in today's society. This meticulously researched book provides us with an understanding of the multi-cultural differences that existed then and their resolution. Commander of the Faithful should be used as a guidebook for understanding current and future conflicts and interventions."
Col. John Bourgeois USMC (ret)

"John Kiser's engagingly written and intelligently crafted Commander of the Faithful examines the life of a genuine hero of the Arab world in the nineteenth century... Kiser artfully shows how and why Abd el-Kader emerged as a world icon, and whose example is badly needed today. I highly recommend this book."
Philip Khoury, past president of the Middle Eastern Studies Association and Ford Professor of History, MIT.

"This engrossing and uplifting story of emir Abd el-Kader who led the resistance to French colonial rule could only have been written by someone with a profound knowledge of the French and Arab worlds and a keen sense of the eternal struggle between morality and Realpolitik...It is not surprising that the author has published in both the Marine Corps Gazette and the Journal of Cistercian Studies.
Fredrick Starr, Chairman Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

"John Kiser has outdone himself. Before the applause has died for his seminal work on The Monks of Tibhirine , he now brings us a masterful rendition of Abd el-Kader, a bigger than life historical figure who honored his faith through a life of integrity and chivalrous behavior. Kiser reminds of one who stands as a giant for the ages, one we could do well to study and emulate.
Douglas Johnston, author of Religion-The Missing Dimension in Statecraft

"Abd el-Kader is a special gift that comes from the sands of Algeria. John Kiser is right to explore the riches of this man who led an exemplary life and was friends with Muslims, Jews, and Christians alike. We need to learn more about the complexities of the political, military and cultural interactions that built the world as it is today. Kiser's book is an invitation to discover and pause, appreciating the life of an unexpected hero."
Andrea Bartoli, Combie Chair for Conflict Resolution, George Mason University

"With this new work, John Kiser continues the fascinating and valuable exploration of religious coexistence that he began with The Monks of Tibhirine (2002). The Commander of the Faithful is a passionate portrait of the remarkable man whose struggle to unite his people and break the colonial yoke won him worldwide recognition, and whose courageous action in saving Christians in Syria from slaughter brought him worldwide admiration. Kiser gives us an exhilarating ride through Abd el-Kader's life in Algeria, exile in France and Turkey, and his final years in Damascus.

It is indeed the stuff of legend, a story beautifully told, aching to be made into a big budget movie. But what is more important is the message for the modern reader that is embodied in the book's third part, which offers vivid images of Abd el-Kader's religious faith in action. In an era when Islam is feared and widely misunderstood in the West, when we are often told that Islamic values are threatening to our way of life, here is the story of a Muslim hero whose tolerance, humanity and forbearance offer a persuasive rebuttal... In a moving chapter called "The Emir's Letter" Kiser's discourse on Abd el-Kader's belief system illuminates an Islam that can comfortably coexist with the faiths of other children of Abraham. Indeed, an Islam that demands it. This excellent book is both highly entertaining history and a powerful argument for respect and tolerance across religions."
Kenton W. Keith, Former US Ambassador to Qatar and Vice President, Meridian International Center Washington, DC

9/1/2011 4:00:00 AM
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