As protests over the recent film continue around the world, they wane in Egypt. Even a new offering of cartoons from a French publication do not spark another round – violent or peaceful.
What does it mean, God? Were the first protests allowed and manufactured, where left to themselves Egyptian Muslims will not take to the streets to defend their prophet from insult? Have leaders issued reflective statements sufficient to calm an offended population? Or have the people themselves looked in the mirror over what has been done in defense of their faith?
Surely, God, there is no one answer. Amidst it all, cause peace and respect to characterize relations between peoples. Give self-restraint in freedom; give self-restraint in offense. Give good laws among all to govern man’s foibles. Give mercy and forgiveness for those locally who have offended others.
Keep those in the West from pride, God. As they disdainfully look at the destruction wrought over an amateur film, may they look first to themselves, find their faults, and repent.
Keep those in Egypt from contempt, God. May they give grace to those outside their religion who cannot comprehend putting you first in all things, including place of pride and identity.
Help all toward introspection, God. May you enliven the conscience and reveal self-deception. Dwell in men’s hearts, and shape them after your pattern. Convict those intentionally provoke; convict those who destroy in their wake.
And for those who manipulate, God, silence them. No matter the angle, shackle those who seek to forward an agenda over the sanctities of men. Root these evils from the politics of all.
Thank you, God, for a pause in Egypt. Give rest to the rest of the world, and may they join in reflection.