Friday Prayers for Egypt: Reform 2030

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Egypt’s president looked ahead 14 years and saw a place of economic success. Make it so.

But he also looked at the present and admitted shortcomings in human rights. Make it change.

This week a new port opened in the Suez Canal.

This week another writer was jailed for his content. And teenagers for alleged blasphemy. And an anti-torture NGO threatened with closure. And…

But the police have committed to propose new legislation to better govern performance and community relations.

And a doctor convicted of female genital mutilation finally loses his license.

God, there is much to be concerned about. There are signs of progress. And people can differ over which is which.

God, help Egypt to square her laws with her constitution. Help her to enforce them with justice. Help her to create and open and transparent climate for culture and business.

But which clauses, God? The ones guaranteeing rights and freedoms, or the ones regulating in accordance with sharia?

And which laws? The ones facilitating central state control, or the ones privileging the private sector?

So many contradictions in Egyptian society are not yet ironed out. So many conflicting values are at odds.

Perhaps there is no essential struggle. With freedom comes responsibility. With license comes oversight. But help government and society together to find the place of consensus. Help limits be defined, known, and acceptable to all.

And then bless those dissenting, willing to challenge. But may all act with respect, and bear their weight of their role.

God, may it not take 14 years. But whatever time is necessary, make it right.

Make Egypt whole.


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