Friday Prayers for Egypt: New Face in Terrorism

Flag Cross QuranGod,

Terrorism in Egypt has been connected to franchises, but not faces. Whether driven by political frustration or extremist ideology, the forces causing havoc have earned infamy as a whole and not as a part.

But this week there is a name. It is an old name for those who know, but Hisham al-Ashmawi, a former military officer, has seized a new limelight for himself.

God, may he fail. But may you not fail with him. Redeem him. With his colleagues, may peace come to both soul and land.

Authorities have linked him to various recent terrorist acts, but his release of an audio call for jihad against Sisi resulted in media attention. His background, his al-Qaeda (rather than ISIS) allegiance, and his announcement of a new cell all contribute.

Sin is destructive, God. If there is division in the ranks of terrorism, God, then allow conflict. If there is ambition, let jealousy stir. Save many from self-combustion; save all from collateral damage. May this cancer eat itself.

But God, cancer kills unless treated. Even then it can be too late. Whatever surgical steps are needed, may they be administered with professionalism, in accordance with all medical standards.

Help Egypt to recover, whole. Turn frustration into participation. Turn ideology into righteousness. Forgive. Reconcile. Heal.

All with justice, God. Hold Egyptians accountable for their sins, but do not burden the nation. Many are tempted to employ evil in their quest for the good they imagine. Rebuke them. Transform them.

But may they see you honor those who hold to the good, risking failure. Provide Egypt examples of good issuing from good, untainted with even a hint of wrongdoing.

Make their faces shine forth, God, like glory unveiled. May all darkness recoil in terror, and Egypt praise your name.

Amen.

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