Friday Prayers for Egypt: Intelligence and the Public Prosecutor

Flag Cross Quran

God,

To secure a stable society, institutions matter more than people. But the people in the institutions matter greatly.

Preserve the institutions of Egypt, God, and populate them with good men. Assist whatever reform is needed; create the political will to see it through.

But the squabbling and innuendo, God; have things done right.

Egypt has an institution of prosecution, but everyone wants their man in it. Some want the Mubarak-era figure, finding him wrongly evicted by the president. Some want the president’s man, finding him approved by a clause in the constitution. And some want the judiciary to pick anew, finding in them a way forward and a guard on separation of powers.

The stakes could be high, if only we knew, God. Few crimes since the revolution have been prosecuted successfully. Old regime, businessmen, military, police, Brotherhood, activists – all have accusations swirling around them. Who is protecting who?

Bring Egypt to a place, God, where institutions can rise above politics. But it takes the right man. If only for as long as he lasts – and the court says he must go – equip him as man of integrity and principle. As pressure, scrutiny, and perhaps political instruction weigh down upon him, make justice his only goal. So much in Egypt’s transition depends upon his post.

But behind the scenes is another institution, brought out into the light in further squabbling. The nation’s intelligence apparatus is accused of undermining the president and destabilizing the country. Some say the president wants his men in charge.

Perhaps they should be, God. But ‘his men’ is the talk of individuals, not of institutions. All were quick to deny the comments in the media, praising intelligence for its loyalty and patriotism. At times one must speak as the occasion requires, God, but increase the sincerity of Egypt’s political discourse.

Many Islamists find the institutions of the state conspiring against them. Liberals, meanwhile, see Islamists seeking takeover of the institutions to use them at the behest of their own agenda. Who knows there isn’t validity in each charge?

But even the question flows from intelligence, as intelligence governs the flow of information. Is the president advised correctly? Is the opposition led to believe their stridency will be rewarded? Do ‘sources’ speak the truth or only inject useful speculation? Is intelligence a puppeteer pulling the strings of all? Or are they a boogeyman summoned to distract from real issues?

God, when so much is confusing, protect the mind from conspiracy. Give Egyptians discernment and conviction to tell right from wrong, which usually need not be so muddled a process. Conscience and common sense are strong weapons against obfuscation; distribute these gifts widely, God.

Unfortunately, neither human nor institutional behavior is simple. But if complexity is a given, single-mindedness is a possibility. Purity of heart is a necessity.

These are not common to politics, God, and perhaps they are not common to humanity in general. But you are good, and you can transform. Bless Egypt with your redemptive touch.

So where an institution can corrupt what is good in the Egyptian nature, strengthen their moral integrity. And where an institution can bind what is corrupt in the Egyptian nature, strengthen its framework to keep them in line.

But only men can create institutions, God. And only men can corrupt them. Within the struggle ongoing since the revolution, your men are needed to guard this difference. Supply them sufficiently. Be they found in few or many, through them may your will be done.

May they bless Egypt, and shape her anew for the good of all.

Amen.

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