Government to Appeal Ruling in Favor of Baha'i Rights

May 3, 2006

Source: Khaleej Times

Wire Service: Reuters

On May 3, 2006 Reuters reported, "The Egyptian government will appeal against a court ruling in favour of the rights of the country's small Baha'i minority, a minister said on Wednesday. Religious Endowments Minister Mahmoud Hamdi Zakzouk told parliament the government would base its appeal on the opinion of the country’s leading Muslim cleric, the Sheikh of al-Azhar, that Baha'ism [the Baha'i Faith] is not a 'revealed religion' recognised by Muslims. Zakzouk was speaking in a parliamentary debate in which many members opposed the ruling last month by an administrative court in favour of the Baha'i couple who have been fighting for two years to make the government register them as Baha'is. Civil society groups welcomed the court ruling as a victory for freedom of belief, as the constitution guarantees in theory. In practice the authorities impose many restrictions. Members of parliament attacked Baha’is as deviants and extremists and noted that the group’s international headquarters is in the Israeli city of Haifa."