Friday Prayers for Egypt: Protesting Brotherhood

Flag Cross Quran

God,

Protests turned violent across the nation as opposition and revolutionary groups focused their attention on Muslim Brotherhood headquarters. Several were attacked, clashes broke out between the two sides, and police fired tear gas to disperse the crowds. Many were injured, but no deaths were reported.

The protests were preceded by two events of notice. First, a preliminary court judgment recommended dissolving the group for being illegal, only to be followed by a ministry announcement their paperwork was accepted as a now-registered NGO. Formally, the group is now subject to law and financial oversight.

Second, minor clashes at the Brotherhood headquarters took place when journalists/activists were assaulted while filming/vandalizing the building with graffiti. Outraged, they called for a Friday protest, a few opposition parties backed the effort, and since, the primary revolutionary youth group has condemned the violence.

Is this a turning point, God? Is popular frustration building up against the Brotherhood and discrediting their legitimacy by attacking the institutions of their administration? Or is this just a blip; limited frustration acting out from general impotence?

God, it is good the Brotherhood is now registered. If they have suffered previously from temptations to avoid the scrutiny of the law, this stricture will help them be open and transparent. If they have been wrongly maligned in the past, this oversight will validate them.

But no law can compete with conscience, God. Give them – and their opponents – pure hearts in service of Egypt. Bless them as they call on your behalf to service and obedience. Bless them in seeking the righteous transformation of society. And if they – or their opponents – have mixed good intention with ill conduct or selfish gain, bless them through rebuke and repentance.

But the violence, God, what good will it bring? It is hard to sort the reality from the propaganda when each side blames the other. Put an end to childishness, if it is there. Put an end to thuggery, if it is there. Give wisdom to resist foolish provocation; honor no one who picks a fight. Aid the state in convicting all who have done wrong, without prejudice or partiality.

God, what do you want the Brotherhood to be? If they are your tool to advance Egypt then give them their due. Silence those who mar them, who feel threatened by their gains. May they work righteously, humbly, mercifully, and inclusively.

But if they are a tool for anyone else, even themselves, then give them their due. Silence them as they mar others, who sense their threat to Egypt. May this be done openly, transparently, justly, and inclusively.

Inclusive, God, for even these prayers are wrong. It is too convenient to see one side right and the other wrong. Guard Egyptians from the ease of rumor and conspiracy. Expose wrong wherever it is found, but bring Egyptian rivals together. Create a system where all win, where opponents need not be vanquished.

Egypt is not settled yet, and perhaps it is not yet time. But she longs for stability as she longs for reform. As the Brotherhood holds the reins of governance, give them wisdom and acumen to govern well.

And may protests continue – peacefully – until all are satisfied with all.

Amen.

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2 thoughts on “Friday Prayers for Egypt: Protesting Brotherhood

  1. i love this prayer and love Egypt… I have written a book about my love story with Egypt.  It is called BECAUSE I BELIEVED IN ME (MY EGYPTIAN FANTASY CAME TRUE).  i taught English and lived very close to Tahrir Square between November 2011 and Februrary 2012 and know well the struggles and dreams of the Egyptian people. I have friends like one of the more famous leaders Moustafa Abou Hussein who have fought so hard for a true democracy in Egypt… This is my prayer, too.  I wrote my book to try to help Egypt in the eyes of the world.  It shows the intelligence, the strength, and the true kindness of the Egyptian culture.  I want to eliminate any unfair misconceptions about what is really going on in the land of the pharoahs.  If you are interested in reading my blog. I have posted it below.  This is my first of many blogs to share with my readers.

      FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013 Blog #1 People often ask me what motivated me to write a book about Egypt. That is really a very easy question to answer. 

            I have always been fascinated with Egypt and its ancient antiquities. Even as a child, I dreamed of visiting the Great Pyramids in Giza, gazing into the eyes of the Great Sphinx, and sailing far away in a boat on the majestic Nile River.  In 1996 this dream finally came true.  My husband Bill and I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Egypt and tour this land of the pharaohs from the aqua blue shores of the Mediterranean city of Alexandria in Lower Egypt to the fascinating Upper Egypt city of Luxor, including Cairo and Aswan, the Valley of the Kings and Queens, and a five night Nile River cruise on a luxurious ship.  When I came home after that incredible ten day adventure, I could not forget this amazing experience and the remarkable Egyptian people I encountered there, including Hassan Awad Mahmood who is still one of my best friends.         Years went by and my world travels continued for a total of forty-nine countries now, but the memories of Egypt remained in my heart.  When I joined Facebook in the summer of 2009, I started befriended many Egyptians and found myself very attracted to these people once more. I followed the First Egyptian Revolution closely on CNN in January 2011 and shared this experience with my friends online.  In May 2011, I felt compelled to travel to Egypt once more but this time to meet those new friends who had become so important to me. I had an absolutely glorious time meeting so many of them and creating some very special memories with them.           While I was there, I visited a new English language center recently opened by a Facebook friend, and to my surprise was offered a teaching position there.  After my twenty-one day visit, I returned home with this thought of another adventure in Egypt possible in the future. The seed had been planted in my mind.  Over the next few months, I had reoccurring dreams from God encouraging me to accept this offer in order to help young Egyptians to become more fluent in English. After much thought and many prayers, I returned to Cairo in November 2011 as a teacher this time—not as a tourist.          The next three months would change my life forever. My teaching experience would become the greatest experience of my educational career.  I not only taught the most motivated and highly intelligent young adults but once again became a student as well and with the generous help and guidance of my students and other friends there learned how to become an Egyptian woman in an unfamiliar but exciting new culture.              When I once again returned to the USA on February 6, 2012, I was not the same Randi. My entire outlook on life had changed. I knew I now had some very unique and important new insights and messages to share and decided to write the book I had always dreamed of doing but never had time to do during my thirty-seven years of teaching in American public schools.  This was a story that had to be told so within one week after arriving at my home in Georgia, I began reliving my life changing experiences through my words and with the help of my many personal photos.  Two months later BECAUSE I BELIEVED IN ME (MY EGYPTIAN FANTASY CAME TRUE) was born.    

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