Filed under Current Events

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Qatar Continues

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Qatar Continues

God, Since last week there has been much written but little resolved. Qatar and the Gulf allies have traded accusations and attempted mediation. But now a line in the sand has been drawn. A list of demands has been issued. Egypt, joining Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and others, have given Qatar ten … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Saudi Islands

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Saudi Islands

God, Perhaps the story is over, perhaps the judiciary will still have a role. But two contested islands in the Red Sea have been ceded by Egypt to Saudi Arabia, after parliament ratified the president’s decision. It was an unpopular vote; proponents insist it was the right one. At issue is original ownership. Egypt has … Continue reading

How the Egyptian Church Secures Itself

How the Egyptian Church Secures Itself

This article was first published at TIMEP. This past Palm Sunday two suicide bombers killed over 45 people at two churches in northern Egypt. One made his way all the way to the altar at St. George’s Cathedral in the Nile Delta city of Tanta, while the other was stopped at the gate outside St. … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Qatar

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Qatar

God, The Gulf has had enough. So has Egypt. So have others. Some hedge their bets. Some play both sides. But it is a crisis, God. The tiny nation has been called out for supporting terrorism, within a region that is full of it, but usually sticks to innuendo. It also happens to host the … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Continuation

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Continuation

God, To some degree, dramatic events were more of the same. For good or for ill, some may well carry forward, some must irrevocably stop. Judge rightly, God, and guide Egypt to your judgment. Coptic families were gunned down on an outing to a monastery. Websites were blocked in a dispute over content and orientation. … Continue reading

A Coptic Poem to ISIS

A Coptic Poem to ISIS

After the latest atrocity against the Copts perpetrated by the Islamic State – killing 30 in an ambush of a church outing to visit a monastery – the following poem was circulated on social media. It is entitled ‘A Message to ISIS’, written by Kiro al-Masry. The translation is mine and the Arabic original is … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Old Things

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Old Things

God,  So much in Egypt is old. Some gets preserved. Some gets restored.  All is its heritage. Honor and judge appropriately.   Over the past few weeks many Pharaonic artefacts have been discovered. Mummies, statues, funerary cartouches. Let Egypt celebrate, God, and the world with her. Some are inspiring, some are mishandled. Help archaeology support the … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Azhar Blasphemy

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Azhar Blasphemy

God, The Azhar defends Islam. The state defends the law. You defend your name. Together, may Egypt find its way. The grand imam fired the Azhar University president for calling a prominent critic an infidel. The minister of endowments censured a preacher for calling Christians unbelievers. The critic had been convicted of blasphemy, later pardoned. … Continue reading

Pope Francis, Islam, and Peace-Building

Pope Francis, Islam, and Peace-Building

This interview was first published at Informed Comment. Dr. Kamal Boraiqa is a lecturer at al-Azhar University and a member of al-Azhar Center for Dialogue, the al-Azhar Observer for Combating Extremism, and the Egyptian Family House. With a PhD from al-Azhar in Islamic Studies, he has served as an imam at the Santa Rosa Islamic … Continue reading

Copts Pick Up the Pieces: An Interview with Bishop Thomas

Copts Pick Up the Pieces: An Interview with Bishop Thomas

A condensed version of this interview was first published at The Media Project on May 4, 2017. Coptic Christians, the Middle East’s largest Christian community, account for roughly ten percent of Egypt’s population and have endured generations of exclusion and restrictions. Their struggles for equality have been aggravated by a series of gruesome and deadly … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Judges, Tribes

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Judges, Tribes

God, Two feuds escalated this week. One reached a preliminary conclusion, the other a concerning jolt. It may not be proper to pray mend the fences, but rather in wisdom to put all things right. After months of debate and clear judicial opposition, the president signed a parliament-ratified bill to select the chief judge of … Continue reading

Is Sufism the Answer to Extremism in Egypt?

Is Sufism the Answer to Extremism in Egypt?

This article was first published at al-Monitor. If the Egyptian government wants to combat the spread of radical religious ideology, it would do well to return to its Muslim roots. At a conference held at the headquarters of the Azamiyah Order in Cairo on April 21, which Al-Monitor attended, presenters argued that Sufi Islam is the … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Pope

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Pope

God, The pope is here. Of course, Egypt already has a pope. But this one is different. To most Egyptian Christians he is not. In the ancient world Rome and Alexandria were equals. But since then the Tiber has far eclipsed the Nile. God, to you your church is one. Give humility to one and … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Aya, Easter

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Aya, Easter

God, Easter passed peacefully, but not Egypt. Though there were no troubles on the holiday, others sandwiched. A few days earlier Copts praying in a village were pelted with stones, as police looked on. A few days later terrorism struck at St. Catherine’s Monastery in the southern Sinai, as police responded. One officer died, a … Continue reading