Friday Prayers for Egypt: Sinai, Rebellion

Flag Cross Quran

God,

Egypt is not quite rumbling again; bubbling is more like it, though the bubbles can grow bigger. Security apprehended alleged terrorists plotting to blow up the US and French embassies, while their colleagues in the Sinai abduct seven security officers.

In Cairo a small protest in Tahrir threatens a creative escalation. The ‘rebellion’ campaign is collecting signatures to demand the departure of President Morsi. The have announced two million so far; they aim for fifteen – more than the total ballots cast in Morsi’s favor – by June 30, the day he assumed office. On that date they will return in mass to the presidential palace.

Many Islamists complain there is no legal legitimacy to their action. Of course they are right, but there was no legality to the demonstrations which deposed Mubarak either. It is the symbolism which is important – if they can get the numbers.

Terrorists, though, do not need numbers. They need space, materials, and determination alone. Few dispute their illegality, but along similar lines, the symbolism is important.

God, amid Egypt’s many problems, few prayers have been necessary concerning terrorism. For this thanks is necessary; terrorism has been a constant in Syria, with appearances in Tunisia and Libya as well. For all deserved criticism of the security void there has been vigilance on this front. May it continue; free the abducted personnel and give the authorities wisdom and perseverance in the Sinai.

And of rebellion? Surely the name is not that pleasing, God. Is the campaign? Is it honest? Does it use the memory and practice of demonstrations past simply for political pressure? Or is the real end game to remove the popularly elected leader? If so, by what mechanism?

It is good to have popular means of accountability and activism, but it is troublesome many feel this is the only avenue for political participation. Frustrations are high and shared ideals are broken amid widespread polarization. But does Egypt need another uprising? Can it stomach one?

God, you know what is behind the scenes, if anything. But may those putting their signatures to paper be represented well. May the opposition be properly empowered. May the president fulfill the demands of the people. May the civil political arena widen.

Give patience and determination to the ‘rebels’, God; urgency and flexibility to the president.

Give constriction and repentance to the terrorists, God; space and vision to the president.

For Egypt, God, give all of the above, merged together in sovereignty, prosperity, and peace. May the bubbles turn out beautiful.

Amen.

 

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