Friday Prayers for Egypt: Candidate Sisi, 529

Flag Cross QuranGod,

The inevitable came right after the unthinkable. General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi finally declared his candidacy for president and resigned from the army. Two days earlier an Egyptian court ruled 529 Morsi supporters worthy of the death penalty, implicated in the murder of a single police officer. Somewhat surprisingly, neither decision prompted massive demonstrations.

But both prompted massive commentary. With Sisi it was more in line with profile, as the debate about him largely revisits the issue of coup vs. popular revolution, as it has since July. The mass judicial ruling, however, resulted in waves of celebration, explanation, and condemnation in the various press.

In both there is much to analyze, God. But there is more to lay before you. For the 529, give each their individual due. Perhaps some are innocent completely. Perhaps some are guilty of lesser charges. Someone was killed, and at least one is culpable.

But all deserve a thorough examination, as does the nation. May it start with the judge who is said to have violated court regulations. May it continue with the accused in accordance with the law. May it finish with the system which permitted its occurrence. May the coming appeals make clear what is generalized differently in all the above, that justice may prevail. May the people have confidence in this vital institution.

Perhaps of greater vitality, God, is the institution of the presidency. Over the next few months give wisdom to the people to discern their options. Whether Sisi, Sabbahi, or a pox on both their houses, help the different partisans to campaign winsomely and effectively.

Cause candidate Sisi to emerge from both his auras of popularity and contempt, to be judged on the basis of his leadership, platform, and vision for the nation. Maintain and enlarge this popularity if he is deserving; otherwise, may the people see and expose any disqualifying flaws.

But inasmuch as both Sisi and the 529 provoked only their base, renew the belief of the Egyptian people. Belief need not be witnessed on the streets, but stimulate citizens to take hold of their political future. Channel the undeniable energy of the past three years into mechanisms to secure the popular will. May they ever hold their system accountable, or perhaps more aptly, may they truly begin to.

Prevent both a surrender to an imagined inevitable and an acceptance of a once unthinkable. However these are defined, God, judge accordingly. But bless Egypt in all that comes.

Amen.

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