2007 Predictions and Hopes
by Stephen Schwartz
First, I pray for stabilization in Iraq, with a lessening of risk to our and the coalition's military forces there.
Second, I pray for the security of all Americans and other people against terrorism, and for adequate resources and support to those protecting them. I further pray that Western governments will not be lured into the trap of collaboration with fake Muslim moderates, but will assist genuine moderate Muslims in defeating radicalism.
To improve the situation of the global Muslim ummah and the planet in general, I fervently pray that Saudi King Abdullah will rapidly and decisively prevail over the backward elements of the royal family. I pray Abdullah will break the monopoly of Wahhabi Islam over religious life in the kingdom, restoring pluralism within Islam, and proclaiming general religious liberty with a written constitution, independent judiciary, and free media. In addition, I pray that all financing of international Wahhabi expansionism be cut off.
These are not utopian hopes; the Hejaz region of Arabia, which includes Mecca and Medina, had laid the foundations of such a system before the Wahhabi takeover in the 1920s. Saudi Arabia today has a growing middle class pressing against the old regime, and demanding to live in a normal society.
Next, I pray the domestic student, labor, and moderate religious opposition will prevail in Iran, driving Ahmadinejad from office.
Finally, I pray that Jews, Christians, Muslims and other believers will initiate a meaningful, respectful dialogue about the future of humanity.