Charlottesville Statement

Candle Light VigilDear Companions on the Path,

I am writing to you from France, where with great sadness and concern I have been following the news coming out of the United States. I am grieving, as so many are grieving, the tragic death of Heather Heyer.

Charlottesville is just an hour’s drive from Richmond, where our new North American headquarters is located. Richmond has its own statue of Robert E. Lee.

It is said that Gen. Lee himself opposed the construction of Confederate memorials, recognizing the need for the nation to “obliterate the marks of civil strife.”

Our nation is now struggling to find an adequate response, not only to the presence of Lee’s image, but to the shadows of American history, encompassing the dispossession of native people, the brutal practice of slavery, and the subordination of women.

And yet for all our troubled history, America is a land of vision and promise, where much has been, and may yet be, achieved.

Lost souls grasp desperately for belonging and forge factional identities premised on assumed superiority in the hope of shoring up self-esteem. Sooner or later, however, the illusion of separateness must crumble. Murshid says, “The one who will not take in the idea of unity will be taken in by unity one day.”

How much better it would be for the whole of the world to take in the idea of unity now. It is for this reason that the Inayati Order exists: to realize and spread the knowledge of unity so that hearts overflow with love and hatred based on distinctions and differences is rooted out.

We intend to always be a community of equality between people of all races, religions, and kinds, and to spread the message of unity. This requires of us continuous vigilance, uprooting the traces of divisiveness whenever they appear in our own minds and hearts.

I am grateful for the conscientious work on behalf of our Order done in Charlottesville by Rabia and Zakir Amin, who recently shared their experiences. I honor, likewise, the contributions of all of you, my companions on the path, in your prayers and meditations, kinship activities, healing circles, Universal Worship services, and Ziraat lodges, and in all that you do in the service of the Message of Love, Harmony, and Beauty.

May love’s victory come soon.

Yours always,

Sarafil Bawa