Friday Prayers for Egypt: Blame and Impose

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The last three years in Egypt have been troublesome. Find a culprit, and force your way.

An early culprit was Mubarak. Today he faces a verdict that may exonerate him.

The current culprit is the Muslim Brotherhood, according to a national fact-finding investigation into the post-June 30 violence. They initiated the violence in the dispersal of their pro-Morsi sit-in, and followed it up against Christians across the nation.

An ongoing culprit is also named. The security services exercised an inordinate and random response, resulting in hundreds of deaths. They have the ire of Islamists who called for nationwide protests this weekend, but did not galvanize.

God, of course there are many to blame. Find them and transparently hold them to account. But blame deflects from one’s own culpability.

Give Egypt humility, and help her hold herself to account.

For it far easier to impose. The state has the strength and is asserting its right. Thousands have been arrested and dissenters marginalized.

But even weakness seeks to impose. A Salafi group, backed by the Brotherhood, called on the masses to impose sharia law and Islamic identity.

Each is trying to fix what went wrong.

The state does not wield the sword in vain, God, you have asked it to maintain justice and order. But the human impulse to blame and impose contradicts other principles you demand. Mercy, patience, confession, and other-centeredness – these are absent among too many.

Preserve goodness in Egypt, God. Protect her against those who wish her ill, but may she not respond in kind. Generate a wide consensus, so that no force is necessary.

Issue no blame, God, and impose no wrath. Forgive, and rebuild Egypt.


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