Algerian leader of the Hashim tribe and of the SufiQadiriyya fundamentalist Islamic sect who led a jihad against French dominion. Two years after the French invasion of Algeria in 1830, he united the tribes of Western Algeria and began a campaign of harassment of French forces - commonly referred to as the Abd-al- Qādir Wars (1832–34, 1835–37, 1840–47) - in which he emerged triumphant in a number of small engagements. A charismatic leader of exceptional military and organizational ability, al Qādir became the most formidable enemy of the French Empire in Northern Africa.
   At the head of a highly mobile army of approximately 10,000 regulars and a larger following of irregulars, he forced France to cede most of the Algerian interior in the Treaty of Tafna in 1837. In 1840, Marshal Thomas Bugeaud de la Piconnerie assumed command of French forces in Algeria and began an offensive against the interior tribes that included the destruction of crops and livestock. Following defeats at Takdempt, Tlemcen, and Smala, al-Qādir retreated to Morocco and raised a new army but was defeated by Piconnerie at the Battle of Isly River in 1844. After a victory at Sidi Brahim he was driven back into Morocco and finally surrendered in December 1847. Although promised the right to emigrate to Alexandria or Syria, al-Qādir was detained in France until 1852 when he was freed by Napoleon III. In 1860, he saved large numbers of Christians from a violent mob of Druze and Maronite fanatics, a deed for which he was awarded the Legion of Honor.
    Stora, Benjamim. Algeria: A Short History. Translated by Jane Marie Todd. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2001.

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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