This court challenge is not an appeal per se, but rather a procedural challenge intended to stall the implementation of the court's ruling. This challenge was filed shortly after the ruling by a lawyer named Hamed Saddiq, acting on behalf of Egypt's Islamic Research Council which is under the auspices of al-Azhar University. He did not appeal the ruling itself but he criticized the judge on procedural matters. In his criticism, he harshly and rudely insulted the judge and questioned his competency, which led the judge to throw the case out of his court, referring it to another judge in order to eliminate bias.
Today, in court, the government lawyers representing the civil records department sided with the Baha'is and made it very clear that they want to proceed with the ruling and apply it as it was. They stated that they will present a memorandum to the court documenting their position and stating that they are supporting the ruling and wish to apply it. They were not, however, ready to present their memorandum today and requested a postponement in order to allow them time to prepare. Thus, the court decided to postpone the hearing until 25 October 2008. [update: date changed by judge to 1 November 2008]
Meanwhile, the Baha'is of Egypt remain without ID cards, birth certificates or other official documents. The consequences of such state of existence are quite obvious and have been clearly described in several previous posts and media publications.
It must be understood, however, that it is entirely up to Egypt's government (Ministry of Interior & the Civil Records authorities) to proceed with implementing the initial court ruling regardless of any challenges or appeals. They can...today...issue ID cards and birth certificates to all the Baha'is of Egypt.
Since the government has no objections, whatsoever, to the ruling itself, and since the government (Ministry of Interior) has been the principal party to this lawsuit, one fails to understand the reasons for such delays in implementation. These delays can only contribute to the continuing suffering of the Baha'is of Egypt.
Furthermore, it is also in the government's interest to apply this ruling to all the Baha'is of Egypt and not only to those involved in the lawsuits. Otherwise, complex and extended litigations and unrest can result from such tactics.