Friday Prayers for Egypt: Consolidation

God,

Honor those in authority, and make them men worthy of honor. To the degree they are, may they receive honor from the people.

Yet this asks a lot of the people, God, when so much happens behind closed doors. Once opened and an action is taken, there is little in the way of explanation, leaving everyone in the dark. This past week has been an exercise in groping about.

When President Morsy sacked the top leaders of the military council, did he do so for revolutionary gain or Islamist? The rhetoric issued afterwards means little, for he also took unto himself the military-seized powers of the legislature and oversight of the committee to write the constitution. If it was right for him to remove this from the military, is the reality now an equally undemocratic arrangement? Or is it only so if he will misuse this power?

Perhaps consolidate of power is in itself misuse.

Furthermore, there is consolidation in the ranks of the press. New editors-in-chief appear to have Islamist bent, and worrisome actions have been taken against the president’s critics. But again the darkness obscures. The critics were not simply voicing opinion, they were calling for revolution. Yet the charges hearken back to the days of Mubarak-era oppression, seemingly trumped up and exaggerated. Meanwhile, is the editorial squeeze Islamist in reality, or just the reality of editorial policy, now in the hands of different heads? It is justified to fear, it is so hard to know.

Perhaps consolidation of opinion is in itself oppression.

But God, is consolidation necessary to move Egypt through these times of transition into a free and stable system, as Morsy promises? Is he an honorable man, or does he hold a hidden agenda?

Is it foolish to believe the right must be achieved in the right way? Not everything being done, even if justifiable, seems right.

God, hold accountable those who have committed crimes. Honor those who have presided over difficult days in Egypt. If these are the same men, God, sort out justice as you know best.

God, hold accountable those who have manipulated the news. Honor those who strive to sort through the many vagaries and contradictions of Egypt. If these are the same men, God, preserve the freedom of the press as you deal with them as individuals.

If consolidation is necessary, God, may it be temporary and keep its beneficiaries pure from the temptations of power.

If it is not necessary, then foil all plans, yet deal gently with those of good intention.

Where honor exists, God, no matter how small, honor and multiply it. Cleanse Egypt and make her whole. Shine light into the darkness, and purify all good.

May Egyptians be people of integrity, and their nation a beacon.

Amen.

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