Friday Prayers for Egypt: Reality before Results?

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Monday and Tuesday Egyptians will vote for their next president, or, will not vote. Some of the latter will actively boycott, others will passively stay at home—satisfied, resigned, or uninterested. Some of the former will cast for the frontrunner, others will vote for the underdog—believing, protesting, or building an opposition.

And a few days thereafter, Egypt will know its president. Results are likely to return a decisive victory for General Sisi; yet unknown is the turnout on which much legitimacy will rest.

But full legitimacy is preemptively called into question by data from the latest Pew Research poll. After surveying a thousand Egyptians in face-to-face interviews, 54 percent are revealed in favor of Sisi and the removal of Morsi from power. This is far lower than domestic perception suggests.

Only 38 percent have a favorable opinion of the Muslim Brotherhood. This is far lower than a year earlier, but still substantial. Surveys in Egypt are generally perceived as unreliable, but Pew is respected for its methodology and experience elsewhere in the world.

But God, it matters little what people say in an interview. May this coming election send a message through the actions of citizens.

Give them safety, God, if there are threats against participation.

Give them wisdom, God, to choose the candidate of their inclination.

Give them courage, God, to positively contest if contrary to their conviction.

But encourage the passive to take up a cause, and deny safety of presence to those who will damage. Give wisdom to authorities to secure the life and dignity of all besides.

If Egypt is divided, God, may the next president unite. May his conduct in office be winsome and effective. May Egypt progress under his watch, and those in opposition press him for even greater accountable gains.

But if the poll skews an already great unity, may the next president heal. There are still many in opposition, of a kind unhealthy for progress. Honor their convictions, God, and bring justice for all. But may they still build Egypt even as they reject. Assist the president to integrate them within the boundaries of law.

In these two days of campaign silence before elections, God, help Egypt to reflect. Then, and thereafter, help her to act. Bless the president, and may his leadership bless the people. Together, may they bless you—active, satisfied, and believing.


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