Love Remains: Response to Sufi Mosque Massacre in Egypt

Over three hundred Sufis dead in Egypt, killed while praying in their mosque or trying to escape.

I thought a while about how to respond, besides the same old, “This is not Islam, this is not what Islam teaches.” Suddenly I wrote — and it stayed in the large Facebook letters because there were so few words — “YOU CAN’T DESTROY THE LOVERS BY KILLING THEM.”

A dialogue ensued between myself and some inner critic. Me: “They’re Sufis like us!”

Critic: “Well, not like you exactly. You’re westerners, and not practicing Muslims.” Me: “Some of us are. And perhaps the heart is the same. That’s what matters.” Critic: “Easy for you to say. You haven’t had your relatives killed or your arm blown off. And what an outrageous statement to make! What proof do you have?” I realized then that I needed to respond without apology.

Yes, I have proof, and so do millions of others spanning all times and places. The proof is not apparent to everyone, but then neither are the truths of physics. It seems like complete nonsense to me that the desk I write on is made of tiny, whirling particles, but I acknowledge it because physicists have a special knowledge I don’t have.

In the same way, some have knowledge of God, Pattern, Meaning, higher and alternate worlds. That sudden and complete knowing is a gift of pure grace, sometimes given after long, hard work, sometimes after no work at all. It’s utterly convincing, hyper-real, and it opens a path that can be followed, leading deeper. And while it usually doesn’t transfer between individuals, sometimes the testimony of a real teacher is enough. Without these experiences, all belief would end with the first experience of real suffering, and it doesn’t.

So, I’ll say it again. YOU CAN’T DESTROY THE LOVERS BY KILLING THEM. May these horrors even unintentionally spread understanding of the Sufi Lovers. May attempts to destroy them be as when someone hacks down a field of dandelions. May one hundred new ones spring up for every one that falls.


  1. EgyptianGnosticMuslimKnight

    Thank You so Much , This is the most beautiful heart filled sentences I’ve read on the matter , I was very sad during that day of Bombing , I wasn’t thinking about the Martyrs for they are hovering now like free eagles in the sky , but I was confused about the fate of their living widows , mothers , sisters and daughters for all the victims were males , were supportive fathers , caring sons and loving brothers , it seems like your loving thoughts toward your fellow souls in Egypt has reached heavens and softened the hearts of people here for the Government in Egypt has decided to took full care of the victim’s relatives support them from A to Z and fully support their village , this is something unusual here , it must be the prayers/dua of the pious souls like you can make the difference .

    And Yes the Victims were Sufi Muslims like us all , whether we are western Sufis or eastern Sufis ,they were the exact same , for I’ve asked spiritually gifted Sufi Masters here and they have seen their hearts and found em to be the same , they have confirmed this to me, the victims were real Sufis who have the same awakening , they were Sufis and Muslims and their hearts were the same . but usually they don’t talk about it or share it publicly to avoid Massacres like this one .

    Actually We are all Muslims even brothers who say that they are non practicing Muslims yet Sufis ! actually they are Practicing Muslims for “Islam” in Arabic means ” Surrender ” it’s the surrender of the soul to be in divine communion with the beloved , and we can reach this union through love , mercy , compassion , softened hearts . all of us have different approaches and “practices” to soften our hearts and fill em with compassion , mercy , love and understanding to “Surrender” our souls and be in a loving communion with the divine , so all of us are already “Practicing Muslims” .

    Salam , Peace and Love to You All my Friends .

    • Karima Vargas Bushnell

      Dear Brother, thank you so much for your beautiful words–which immediately brought tears to my eyes–and please forgive my delayed response. We had slight technical difficulties, but I wanted to write back immediately! I’m humbled to hear that, by Allah’s will, my prayers and those of so many others may have helped open the hearts of the Egyptian government so that they’re taking complete care of the survivors.

      Thank you also for saying that you there and we here share one heart, regardless of cultural differences in how we practice. Salaams and love to your Sufi Masters for this confirmation. As the hadith says, “There are as many ways to Allah as there are human souls.” All love and blessings to you and everyone there.

  2. A Jo Schansberg

    Really enjoying the Blog and website generally.

    Tried to add to the mailing list but system said “try later”.

    Thanks so much! Have a blessed day, and may all your endeavors come to a timely fruition.

    A Jo
    (Aarifa Joni)
    12.09.17 6:56 a

    • Karima Vargas Bushnell

      Hi there. I’ve edited your comment so your personal information doesn’t show, but I believe you’re already on the mailing list, and the minor problem with adding names is fixed now. Thank you for the blessing and the kind wishes. May you be blessed as well!

  3. Roye Wright

    My dearest Maam.
    How are you ….
    Thank You so much. I am Muslim. You have posted a very purely non terrible message. This is the most beautiful heart filled sentences I’ve read on the matter. I was very sad during that day when i heard this. I wasn’t thinking about the Martyrs for they are hovering now, but I was confused about the fate of their living widows, mothers, sisters and daughters for all the victims were males, were supportive fathers. I am not very familiar with those people close but i have Lot feeling and best wishes for them.
    I am also an affected person. I have lost my family, my mother, due to some gang. They took up all my family…i am living in a Non-safe UNHCR CAMP. I want to move such a peaceful country. So I hope you will must get me free from fire.
    Yours sincerely,
    Roye Wright

    • Karima Vargas Bushnell

      Dear Brother Roye,
      Thank you for your sweet words. I am so sorry for the losses you have suffered, and for the whole situation. Unfortunately, I have no way to bring anyone here, but I can at least pray for you that your troubles be eased and your fate be opened. Ya Fattah! Oh Opener of all gates, doors and pathways!

  4. Kay

    I really love this post. “You can’t destroy the lovers by killing them!” is such a powerful statement which rings true instantly. I think there is a part of us all that knows with complete certainty that Love is ALWAYS greater than fear, even when good people lose their lives. We know deep in our hearts that our true essence IS Love, which cannot die. Thank you for such a clear and heartfelt response – it raises hope and makes it very real.


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