Friday Prayers for Egypt: The Innocence of Muslims

God,

Give Egypt the grace to get out of the moment. Literally speaking, bring peace to troubled areas, give peace to troubled hearts. End this contagion to protect lives, property, and the reputation of Islam.

Figuratively speaking, help Egypt and the world to see the big picture. Encouraging transitions are underway across the region. Dictators have been deposed and the people have a voice. The transition is not without significant struggle, however, and has opened up the fault lines of society. Film or no film, sincere or exploited, these protests cannot obscure there is much good at work in Egypt and elsewhere.

The big picture is also that God can take care of himself. May those who are righteously aggrieved remember God the Merciful, and so imitate. Comfort all who call on you, keeping them from turning against each other, or the other. May your purposes for Egypt be fulfilled, among both the both the calm and the furious.

But the small picture requires your attention as well, God. This film appears produced for trouble and trouble alone. Whatever legal right they own, your law goes far deeper to judge intention and result. Hold them accountable, God, and rebuke. Spoil any influence they may seek in American politics.

If for trouble, the trouble was shared. Manipulation owns no nationality, and surely some Egyptians are guilty of fanning the flames. Both have exploited religion for evil ends; both show contempt for the faith of normal Muslims. One aims to offend, the other to enrage. Hold them accountable as well, and keep them from a vital share in the Egypt to come.

Continue your grace between Egyptian Muslims and Christians; thank you for the wisdom that has kept them together. May such grace multiply between Arabs and Westerners. Prevent the world from hardening into ill views of the other. May all differences be admitted and discussed, and may the right prevail. But may all be transcended in respect and relationship.

May these fires soon extinguish; may they spread no further.

May love instead consume the hearts of men, even toward those who hate, insult, and damage. Punish, God, but redeem and restore.

Amen.

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