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Abd el-Krim, Muhammad ibn Abd al-Karim al-Khattabi

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    Abd el-Krim, Muhammad ibn Abd al-Karim al-Khattabi

    (d. 1963 )

    Moroccan leader of the Rif Rebellion and Islamic reformer. Eldest son of a notable family in a Berber-speaking tribe of northern Morocco, Abd el-Krim and his Moroccan troops soundly defeated Spanish forces under General Silvestre at the Battle of Anual ( 1921 ), initiating the Rif Rebellion. Influenced by Salafi ideas, he declared a republic based on Islamic law ( 1923 ) and sought to eliminate Sufism. At its zenith, the Rifian state included most of the Spanish protectorate and a portion of the French protectorate. In 1926 Spanish and French armies defeated Abd el-Krim's forces and disbanded the republic. He died in self-exile in Cairo.

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