Wesley Theological Seminary (WTS), the Embassy of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria and the Abdelkader Education Project (AEP) hosted a day-long Public Forum celebrating the life of Emir Abdelkader, a 19th century Muslim hero (1808-83). A diverse audience of over 150 persons from the military, religious, business, civic and educational worlds came to honor and to learn about the life of this Bedouin scholar, warrior, Sufi mystic, humanitarian, and his impact today on Muslim and non-Muslims alike. WTS President Reverend Dr. David McAllister-Wilson stated, “…understanding from both sides, is badly needed…mutual ignorance is massive. The emir’s real value for interfaith dialogue is that he is a devoutly conservative Muslim.”
One of the highlights of the Forum was the celebration of the student winners of the 10th annual Abdelkader Global Leadership Essay Prize, launched in Elkader Iowa when AEP was established by Executive Director Kathy Garms and co-founder John Kiser, author of Commander of the Faithful: The Life and Times of Emir Abdelkader – A Story of True Jihad. (www.johnwkiser.com)
Imprisoned in France (1848-52), despite his armistice agreement with the French generals, Abdelkader attracted a diverse group of sympathizers who lobbied for his liberation. They included bankers, British nobility, bishops, poets, local school teachers and soldiers of all ranks, including former prisoners, citizens of Bordeaux… they became collectively known as the Kaderians.
Kaderian Islam abhors sectarian and human divisions. It views all creation as God’s work and all religion as founded on two pillars: love of God and compassion toward his creatures.
A Kaderian movement has the potential to heal divisions within Islam and within the human community. Its spirit is universal and can be found in the lives of Leo Tolstoy, Mohatma Gandhi, Queen Victoria, Nelson Mandela, Albert Schweitzer, Martin Luther King. Jr. and all the millions of lesser known people for whom there is only one race—the Human Race. For more information on the Abdelkader Educational Project, please contact www.abdelkaderproject.org.
SOURCE Abdelkader Education Project