Friday Prayers for Egypt: Community Policing

Flag Cross Quran

God,

In the darkest days of the revolution, the police disappeared from the streets and neighborhoods across Egypt banded together to protect their properties. As criminals fled prisons, this spontaneous action contained the chaos and rallied the nation in support of Tahrir Square. Though many died, your grace was present, and Egypt avoided the fate of many of its neighbors. In less than three weeks, the revolution won.

Today, that opinion is deeply in question by many, even as circumstances tenuously repeat. In the two years that followed security was not restored, crime continued unabated, and political struggles began dripping into political violence. With police under attack and accused of attacking, many went on strike.

There are too many agendas at play to sort, God, but here is the recent development. The public prosecutor reminded the nation the penal code allows for citizens to make arrests under certain conditions, and Islamist groups responded by saying they would organize citizens to defend state institutions and curb crime.

God, bless the people of Egypt who will stand against crime and vandalism. Bless the Islamist leaders in their role of community organizers. Bless the prosecutor general, who reminded the people of their share in keeping the peace.

But God, so much seems wrong and manipulated. If this is a result of the media tarnishing good citizenship, then expose their discrediting campaign. May the people of Egypt take the reins of their nation, and steer it to the right path. As normal people act, God, multiply their effectiveness.

Yes, God, the police appear negligent, and fix this problem first and foremost. Wherever the will is lacking – officers or rank and file – strengthen their hand to police firmly and justly. Protect citizens, property, and institutions alike, through all official channels.

But has crime exploded exponentially in the last week? Is Egypt about to be burned to the ground? Or are Islamists flexing their muscles and seeking legitimacy as a power on the streets? Believing the conspiracy – not without evidence – that the police are against them, are they laying the groundwork for a parallel force?

This, even, amid accusations and denials they seek to infiltrate the Ministry of Interior, and amid ‘sources’ in the military harshly warning against the paragraph above.

God, may it not be. Egypt is in deep need of reform and an Islamist government presides over every institution. Grant the president wisdom to make hard and honest choices. Grant him thick skin to withstand the relentless criticism he faces no matter which way he chooses. Grant him advisors who will accurately represent the reality on the ground. Without these, God, he is lost.

May Egypt neither be lost with him, nor dependent upon him for her salvation. But protect him and use him, God, in service of the nation.

But in the end, strengthen each and every Egyptian community. In security and prosperity, grow this nation anew.

Amen.

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