...scheduled for 17 January 2009, on which Cairo's Seventh Circuit Administrative Court will rule on a challenge (a stalling tactic--not an appeal) to the same ruling of 29 January 2008 of the First Circuit Administrative Court, in which another Islamist lawyer challenged the competence of the judge. Consequently, the judge had referred the case out of his court to the Seventh Circuit Court for an unbiased determination.
In its session today, Cairo's Seventh Circuit Administrative Court rejected the challenge filed by the said lawyer, Hamed Saddiq, who was acting on behalf of Egypt's Islamic Research Council which is under the auspices of al-Azhar University. His challenge had the effect of stalling the implementation of the favorable 29 January 2008 court ruling.
Today's verdict implies that the 29 January 2008 court ruling in favor of the Baha'is can be enforced by the Ministry of Interior and that it can proceed, without delay, to issue the Baha'is of Egypt birth certificates with dashes [--] inserted in the religion section of these documents. Today's verdict concerns only the case of 14-year-old twin children, Emad and Nancy Raouf Hindi whose father has been requesting the issue of their birth certificates.
The Other case concerning the 18-year-old university student Hussein Hosni Bakhit Abdel-Massih, who is in quest for his ID card (he was dismissed from the university consequent to his inability to obtain a military postponement certificate, required for the continuation of his education), was heard on 15 January 2009 and postponed until 24 February 2009 for a final verdict on the challenge, filed by the same lawyer (Hamed Saddiq). The 29 January court verdict had also ruled in his favor to obtain an ID card with dashes [--] in place of his religion.
The next date to watch is 19 January 2009, on which Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court will issue its final verdict on an appeal by another Islamist lawyer, named Abd El-Mageed El-Aanany. He was not a party to the lawsuit, but appeared to act on behalf of extremists. The appeal could not stop the implementation of the ruling unless the court had decided to do so. In this case, the court has not stopped the implementation of the lower court's ruling, and the Ministry of Interior has not appealed either.
It is anticipated the the Supreme Administrative Court will reject the appeal since its own State Judiciary Council has already recommended this course of action.
Based on these developments, it is becoming clearer that Egypt's judiciary is on a righteous path that is headed towards a resolution to the dilemma of the Baha'is of Egypt, who are in quest of their basic civil rights.