Friday Prayers for Egypt: Remembering Rabaa

Flag Cross Quran

God,

Two years are past, hundreds are dead. Help Egypt to remember correctly.

In response to massive protests against then-President Morsi, his supporters rallied in protests of their own. They continued several weeks after he was removed by the army. After several warnings to disband, the camp was cleared forcibly. Some policemen were killed, but so many more protesters.

God, give justice for every innocent life. Hold accountable every unjustified killing. Help Egypt recover and heal from a terrible wound.

But the call to remember Rabaa implicitly ignores other troublesome events. A second campsite also witnessed much loss of life, as did demonstrations before and after. Retaliatory attacks struck at police stations and churches throughout the country. Dehumanizing and sectarian rhetoric was hurled in multiple directions.

God, it was ugly.

Two years later much of the country has moved on. A new constitution was written and ratified. The military hero who overthrew Morsi was overwhelmingly elected president. Pro-Morsi demonstrations long continued, clashes ensued, and arrests multiplied. Things are much quieter now, but a terrorist insurgency feeds off the memory.

Some memories are selective, others choose to forget. But two responses are necessary, and seem purposefully ignored: Accountability and forgiveness.

In their place a sole word reigns: Retribution. One side enacts, the other calls.

Justice, God, could take its place, if agreement could settle on a definition. Mutual acrimony and mutual culpability sideline the possibility.

So what can be done, God?

For those aggrieved, touch their hearts. Direct their ire and guide their response, but let not their souls be poisoned. May they overcome hatred, and transform anger. For their own sake, Egypt’s, and the path of righteousness, help them forgive and respond in blessing.

For those aggressing, touch their conscience. Honor their duty and gird their devotion, but let not transgression be swept under the rug. May they be stricken in soul, and find restoration. Give all authorities wisdom, mercy, and firm commitment to rule of law.

But all this may not be enough, God. Behind Rabaa is also a clash of ideologies. Help Egypt to remember, but also to know herself. Guide all in creating the proper society, inclusive of as many as possible.

There, and in getting there, may Egypt heal.

Amen.

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2 thoughts on “Friday Prayers for Egypt: Remembering Rabaa

  1. I think it was a few more than some policemen, there were other security forces killed as well. Also forgetting those people butchered by the demonstrators. Together with those brainwashed to stay till they, of which a large proportion did what they were brainnwahed and refused to move.. So it could be argued a large number committed suicide so as to be considered Martyrs. Unfortunately there was a time of misinformation speculation and putting words in such away that continues today especially with certain press organisations and the western press as a whole. These after Terrorism are proving to be Egypt’s biggest enemy as can be seen by the negative slant and speculation being given over the recent extension of the Suez Canal.

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