High School Curriculum

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Embodying the Nation:

George Washington, Abdelkader, and Gandhi

A DBQ (document-based questions) lesson in which students examine primary source documents to evaluate and compare motications and methods of George Washington, Abd el-Kader, and Gandhi.

When did Abd el-Kader die?

A lesson in which students use a variety of 19th century newspaper articles (adapted for high school readers) with conflicting information to explore the quirks and limitations of primary source materials.

Harvard Pluralism Project

A lively historical narrative of Muslims in Iowa, entitled “Portrait of Cedar Rapids and America’s Mother Mosque.” This is paired with three case studies. The first is on Abdelkader, plus two contemporary stories that serve as companion pieces.

AP World History

Three lessons supporting learning objectives of Unit 6, AP World History: Modern, using the life of Abd el-Kader as a case study.

Abdelkader Stage Project

Thirteen theatre vignettes, based on the life and times of Emir Abdelkader, depict a rich array of characters beginning in 1808. Settings range from the Ottoman Regency of Algiers to Colonial France to New York City to Elkader, IA.

Excerpts from Commander of the Faithful (COTF)

A collection of excerpts from John Kiser’s 2010 biography Commander of the Faithful, useful for developing lessons on Abd el-Kader.


Khan, Daisy. Wiseup: Knowledge Ends Extremism. Women's Islamic Initiative in Spirituality & Equality, 2017. 

Kiser, John W. Commander of the Faithful: The Life and Times of Emir Abd El-Kader. Monkfish Book Publishing, 2008. 

Marston, Elsa. The Compassionate Warrior: Abd El-Kader of Algeria. Wisdom Tales, 2013.

Other Selected Readings

Bouyerdene, Ahmed. Emir Abdelkader: Hero and Saint of Islam. World Wisdom, 2012.

Churchill, Charles-Henry. The Life of Abd el Kader, ex Sultan of the Arabs of Algeria. Chapman Hall, 1867.

Danziger, Raphael. Abd al-Qadir and the Algerians. Holmes and Meier, 1977.

DeTocqueville, Alexis. Writings on Empire and Slavery (translated by Jennifer Pitts) Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001.

Kiser, John W. The Monks of Tibhirine: Faith, Love and Terror in Algeria. St. Martins Press, 2003

Kiser, John W. Lessons From An Arab Warrior

Hourani, Albert. Islam in European Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

Johnston, Douglas, Religion Terror and Error: American Foreign Policy and the Challenge of Spiritual Engagement. Santa Barbara: Praeger, 2011.

Nasr, Hossein. Man and Nature, The Spiritual Crisis of Modern Man. Chicago: ABC International Group Inc, 1997.