The Cairo Court of Urgent Affairs has thrown out two lawsuits against the Salafi Nour Party and the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated National Alliance to Support Legitimacy, the state-owned news site EgyNews reported on Monday.
The lawsuits called on the judiciary to disband the groups, ban their activities and confiscate their assets and funds. However, the court said that these demands did not fall under its jurisdiction.
Naguib Gabrael, the lawyer for the Coptic Orthodox Church, filed charges against the Nour Party for allegedly inciting violence and spreading hate speech. The suit also pointed to its affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood before that organization was dissolved by court order last December. The charges detailed incidents including Nour Party members refusing to stand during Egypt’s national anthem, as well as policies and statements that were allegedly degrading toward the Coptic community.
Gabrael also demanded that the courts ban the Nour Party from running in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
Although the hardline Islamist party was an adamant ally of the Muslim Brotherhood before former President Mohamed Morsi’s ouster last July, after his fall from power, the group switched its allegiance to the transitional military-backed government and signed off on its proposed roadmap.
Critics rebuked the party for siding with the military to achieve political gains.
Last May, lawyer Samir Sabry filed a similar lawsuit to disband the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy, a coalition of Islamist-affiliated groups formed in the aftermath of Morsi’s removal from office.
The court had already thrown out Sabry’s lawsuit once before, and on Monday dismissed his appeal.
The presiding judge said that the lawsuit’s papers did not include the names of the parties included in the alliance, and failed to prove their connection to illegal or terrorist activities that would convince the court to ban its activities.
Today’s decisions represent a decisive shift in recent court rulings. Since 2013, the judiciary has taken stern measures against Islamist and other oppositional groups, including banning all Muslim Brotherhood activities and designating it as a terrorist organization, as well as dissolving its political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party.
In recent months the courts have also designated two Sinai-based jihadist groups, Ansar Beit al-Maqdes and Ajnad Misr, as terrorist organizations, and banned the activities of the secular April 6 Youth Movement.