True Cedar Rapids?

9th Annual Abdelkader Education Project Forum: Saturday, September 16, 2017 - Cedar Rapids, Iowa USA

  • Emir Abdelkader
    Emir Abdelkader

Why Talk ISIS in Iowa? Exploring the many meanings of Jihad.

All are welcome at the AEP Forum! On September 16, speakers from the worlds of national security, education and Muslim, Christian, and civic leadership will gather in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. They will discuss the many meanings of jihad as reflected in the life of Emir Abdelkader, after whom a town was name in Iowa in 1846. Considered Algeria’s George Washington, this 19th century Arab scholar/warrior/statesman counted among his admirers Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, and Pope Pius IX.

Headlined Abdelkader vs. ISIS: The Many Meanings of Jihad, the day-long forum builds on the annual Abdelkader Global Leadership Prize essay contests sponsored by the Iowa-based Abdelkader Education Project (AEP), open to high school and college students around the country. The forum honors students who have best articulated how Abdelkader’s lived Islam offers an example both to leaders today and can serve as an antidote to both islamophobia and the radicalization of youth drawn to the allures of ISIS ideology.

Abdelkader demonstrated that “true” Jihad was about the heart and the head, as well as the sword…leading Peter Maurer, President of the Int’l Red Cross to call the emir, “the undisputed leader in the codification of modern international humanitarian law.”

This year AEP has added a screening of the Emmy Award-nominated video, The Secret Life of Muslims, featuring a contemporary hero, a forgiving Bangladeshi-Texan who was shot in the face (and lived) by a white supremacist, yet like Emir Abdelkader, sought reconciliation with his attacker.

Topics addressed will include:

* Islamic rules of warfare that ISIS violates.

* Why speakers from faith communities, the security world, educators, students, writers and humanitarian leaders 
view Abdelkader’s example as an antidote to ISIS ideology.

* How Elkader (Iowa) got its name in 1846, becoming the launch pad for today’s Abdelkader Education Project.

* Why a Virginia pig farmer spent eight years writing about this forgotten world hero.

*Why the Emir’s bust is in the foyer of the International Red Cross in Geneva.

Abdelkader vs. ISIS: The Many Meanings of Jihad
September 16, 9:00AM to 4:00PM
All are welcome – AEP Forum Registration Click Here (
Mt. Mercy University CRST Graduate Center
1650 Matterhorn Drive NE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa USA
Abdelkader Education Project

By Office of Communications
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