Friday Prayers for Egypt: Corruption and Economy

Flag Cross QuranGod,

Will Egypt be serious? Can it be? Is tackling corruption really part of the agenda?

Cries of corruption are a time-tested way to taint an opponent. Given its assumed pervasiveness they may even be true. But as the minister of agriculture falls, as does – ironically – an anti-corruption activist, help the government tackle this issue at its roots, and not just trim the low-hanging branches.

Give them both a fair hearing, God. Them, and all others.

A former Mubarak-era businessman and politician, accused of widespread corruption, is trying to return to parliament. Subject to multiple trials and jail over the past four years, the legal tussle has been intense. Decide his case rightly, God, and all like him.

Give mercy to the repentant. Give candidacy to the legal. Above all, give discernment to the electorate. Keep corruption far from the coming parliament.

For beyond politics, corruption spoils the economy. The government is feverishly working to stimulate investment, cautiously working to enact reform.

The rich and powerful can tolerate corruption; perhaps they even benefit. But its costs are felt most harshly where economic revival is most needed. For the poor and middle class, it is hard to play on an uneven field.

But real growth is dependent upon them. Studies show the Egyptian economy is woefully top heavy. Corruption trickles down far more efficiently than capital.

God, how to even begin? Give officials wisdom and uprightness. Give functionaries a living wage and a tender conscience. Give the system transparency.

Give Egypt the people and will to make it happen. May it both accompany and spur a cultural change. And beyond accusation, may it bring healing. There are degrees of guilt, God. Let justice be blind, but also be nuanced.

Cleanse the nation, God. May prosperity come, to all.

Amen.

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