Friday Prayers for Egypt: Books, Hijabs

Flag Cross QuranGod,

Too much should not be made of these markers, but they may reveal a mindset of some. Long on the defensive, Egypt’s non-Islamists feel empowered.

Among the results are a book burning at a school, seized from the Brotherhood. And a call for women to remove their head coverings, at a summer rally in Tahrir.

Give wisdom, God, for both substance and form.

The Azhar as an institution is non-Islamist, but it is also conservative, and pushing back. Subject to attacks in the media, it defends itself and traditional Islamic belief.

Egypt is still in flux, and the push and pull from various visions will take time to settle. In the meanwhile, each advocates its cause.

So how to pray? May all who invoke you in their vision pray from a pure heart. However different, may they seek the good of society. However conflicting, may liberal and conservative virtues all be honored, neither accused nor corrupting into vice.

Let books be written, and critiqued. Let heads be covered, if from faith. Let religion speak, with humility.

Let society find a way to incorporate all, amid respect. Let those who push find freedom, but failure – if they push too far.

Sort them out, God, and define the limits. Help Egypt arrive at the optimal place, with each in a mindset of peace.

Amen.

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