Friday Prayers for Egypt: Base vs. Center


As campaigning continues for president, candidates are seeking their strategy. Two find their path to victory by mobilizing core constituency; two instead seek to claim the Egyptian middle.

On the one hand the Muslim Brotherhood candidate increasingly speaks of applying sharia law, while his handlers go as far to imagine a revived caliphate out of Jerusalem, all the while predicting fraud against them before it happens.

Meanwhile, Mubarak’s last ditch prime minster during the revolution increasingly assails the Brotherhood, warning of all the trouble to befall Egypt if they – or any Islamists – come to power.

On the other hand the former Muslim Brotherhood candidate continues to portray himself as a centrist, the only candidate capable of uniting liberals, revolutionaries, and Islamists.

Meanwhile, Mubarak’s longtime semi-colleague continues to portray himself as the voice of stability and experience, able to navigate the corridors of power while professing both piety and the ability to work with all.

Somewhat on the outside of the main challengers are two revolutionaries/leftists/nationalists. A significant part of their campaign appears to be that they are not the above listed four, attached either to the former regime or political Islam.

God, weigh each of these men and find where they are worthy or wanting. Give discernment to the Egyptian electorate, so they might perceive as you do.

Help each candidate to represent himself honestly, truly, and justly. Keep him from besetting self-deception and empty pandering. May each be a servant to Egypt, and not a purported savior.

In the end, God, make these elections to be real. May the experience and the process be more important than the result. Above all, may people not grow weary, cynical, or disillusioned.

For those who honestly hold to a base, cause them to respect the center and loosen their convictions.

For those who loosely reside in the center, cause them to respect the partisans and honor their convictions.

For the winner, may he unite Egypt and not divide it further. May he honor both supporter and opponent. May he open the arena for all to participate. May he grant the noble demands of the revolution.

May he be a man of upright character. May he lead Egypt well. May he be a good president.

God, please allow this to be.


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