Jihad Watch’s Hugh Fitzgerald in FrontPage this morning on Columbia University’s Peter Awn:
The Dean of General Studies at Columbia University, Peter Awn is described as a “renowned scholar of Islamic and Comparative Religion” on a Columbia website. It informs us that he “has lectured widely to academic and business professionals on the role Islamic religion plays in the current political and social development of the Muslim world.”
Before he assumed the duties of administration, Dean Awn, who received his Ph.D. in 1978 from Harvard, had published his tenure book: “Satan’s Tragedy and Redemption: Iblis in Sufi Psychology, a study of the devil in Islamic mysticism.” This study received an award from the American Council of Learned Societies. The word “Sufi” is one which many non-Muslims, naturally, associate with a kind of gentle mysticism, with the poetry of Rumi, with what they take to be its distance from jihad. But the Deobandis are Sufis, and Tabandeh, a theoretician of the Islamic Republic of Iran, was a Sufi. There are more Tabandehs than Rumis in Sufism.
Read it all. Many useful links in the original.