Friday Prayers for Egypt: Allegiances

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Two declarations were issued this week, at complete opposite ends of the spectrum. From Sinai, Ansar Bait al-Maqdis pledged to obey the caliph of the Islamic State. From the Chamber of Commerce, a business delegation pledged to recruit other American companies to invest in Egypt.

One allegiance is to you, God, the other is to mammon. Both may be confused.

Therefore, guide them both.

A few days after the pledge to ISIS, terrorists struck at the Egyptian navy. Four boats in the Mediterranean targeted a naval vessel, opening a new chapter in the insurrection.

A few days before the pledge of investment, a UN hearing blasted the Egyptian record on human rights. But sixty-six companies targeted the private sector, opening a new chapter in the transition.

God, help Egypt to rebuild. Bring investment from abroad and from within, that a creative entrepreneurship might employ many. From a stronger economy build a stronger middle class. From a stronger middle class build a stronger civil society. And from a stronger civil society build a stronger respect for human rights.

But do not let it take that long. Amid the many troubles, hold the government accountable in treating people justly. And within these coming companies, may their corporate culture model good governance in the economic sphere.

And God, help Egypt to repel. Bring support from abroad and from within, that a humane determination might resist terrorism. From a deeper respect for human rights build a deeper sense of patriotism. From a deeper sense of patriotism build a deeper commitment to neighbor. And from a deeper commitment to neighbor build a deeper understanding of religion.

God, set the single-minded idealists of the Islamic State on the right path. Set the single-minded capitalists of the United States on the right path.

Once there, may their respective zeal and wealth benefit Egypt, the region, and the world. For without your guidance, God, they may trample it all.

Declare your goodness to Egypt, and recruit many to her aid. From abroad and from within, may all demonstrate allegiance to your principles.


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