Friday Prayers for Egypt: Election Law

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Help Egypt rebuild her political institutions. Help her to do so wisely, and justly.

The law to set regulations for parliamentary elections meandered all week. A first draft was partially declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Amendments were made, but then bypassed the court lest it find further flaws, only postponing the crisis. Accusations of unfairness and gerrymandering abound; many in the opposition threaten a boycott.

And among the most unusual provisions is the fact the elections will be conducted over a four week period.

Added to the political controversies are feuds between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafi Nour Party, and disputed attacks on a church in Fayoum. On all accounts the facts are unclear but acrimony appears from all sides. It was a quiet week in Egypt, but tensions simmer.

Lower the boil, God. What is this stalemate producing? Where are you bringing Egypt? Must one side eventually defeat the other completely? Is this preferable to honest compromise?

God, grant the people representatives; give them a working parliament. But may those who populate it come truly from the popular will. Minimize electoral machinery and manipulative campaigning. But have a groundwork laid now in which all can agree on the rules of the game. But God, it seems impossible. Rules were disregarded long ago.

So, perhaps, were sincere political relationships. Heal the rifts between Islamists, and furthermore between all political powers. Where these rifts are caused by transgression, may justice cleanse. Restore the reputation of anyone falsely tarnished; sully the reputation of anyone escaping accountability. Sort out the categories, God, but moreover, reconcile. Egypt needs all.

This includes her Muslims and Christians. God, return this village to its previous anonymity. If there is fanaticism driving events, rebuke its partisans. If there is exaggeration, rebuke as well. Help each to love his neighbor as himself, seeking first the interests of others. Establish humility, but give each his right. Spare the village from further troubles, and may similar happenings not repeat elsewhere.

God, coddle Egypt, if you must. Be a mother who calms a disquiet spirit and a flailing temper. Hold her until she can breathe again freely. But prepare her to roar, righteously. May that day come soon.


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