Friday Prayers for Egypt: Arguing the Referendum

Flag Cross Quran

God,

The referendum passed, decisively. Turnout was strong, comparatively. The meaning is debated, heatedly. And here the prayers are needed.

A few dispute the turnout, which was the key indicator. Supporters of Morsi have claimed only about ten percent of the electorate voted, while unofficial figures of both participation and affirmation supersede the results for the 2012 constitution.

Unless massive fraud is demonstrated, the people have ratified Morsi’s removal, the crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, the constitution itself, and perhaps, the presidential candidacy of General Sisi.

In this choice, God, bless Egypt. Bless her for the virtues displayed, for the wisdom exhibited, and in spite of the manipulations present. Whether this choice honors or dishonors your will, God, bless the nation moving forward.

For there was manipulation, God, and herein lies the arguing. State and media vigorously campaigned for a yes vote. The few campaigning for no were arrested. The boycotting opposition was either in jail or in the streets – and even here there is argument. Are the Brotherhood terrorists in label or in reality? Were their protests disrupted, or were they disruptive?

In these questions, God, bless Egypt. Make clear the status of those accused, that they may be tried and judged, sentenced or acquitted, justly and transparently. Make both their supporters and their condemners simultaneously resolute and compassionate. And protect the safety of the streets, for both traverse and protest. Too much traffic has been halted, far too much blood has been spilt.

But as Egyptians and analysts alike argue over the meaning of the referendum, sift the virtue from the vice like the wheat from the chaff. Do results indicate the sovereignty of the people or the authoritarianism of the state?

In this dichotomy, God, bless Egypt. If a mixed bag, then refine them both. Strengthen and encourage a necessary hard hand in difficult times. But rebuke and hold accountable that which violates the law, certainly, but also your standards of righteousness. In your time, God, unmix this bag that Egypt may move forward in full confidence of its cause.

And if it is not mixed at all, bless Egypt tenfold for the offense to which she is subjected, from whichever faction is in the wrong.

Harness the passion in these arguments, God, and marshal it for Egypt’s good. Then cool these fires, so that differing opinion might mutually benefit, educate, and reform. Give meaning to this struggle, and have the nation emerge clean.

Bless Egypt with her new constitution. May consensus come, and with it peace.

Amen.

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