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Egyptian prosecutors question comic Bassem Youssef

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Bassem Youssef is a sharp-tongued Muslim Brotherhood critic who has been described as the “Jon Stewart” of Egypt. According to Movements.org, he got his start on YouTube then was subsequently picked up by a local television network:

A cardiologist-turned-international celebrity, Bassem Youssef began his meteoric rise to fame in 2011 with a series of YouTube videos shot with some friends in the laundry room of his apartment building. Youssef and his crew studied Stewart’s “The Daily Show” closely, trying to mimic its political punditry and apply it to Egypt’s chaotic political scene. It was a model that people around the Middle East gravitated towards, and the laundry-room videos quickly amassed millions of YouTube views. Youssef’s show was picked up by regional private TV network CBC, and two years after his first episode was posted online, it is now broadcast every Friday night to an estimated audience of 20-30 million viewers. Many of them can be found packed into outdoor seating at cafes around Egypt, sipping coffee and smoking a sheesha, paying up to 6 Pounds ($1) for the viewing pleasure.

According to Ahram Online, Youssef confirmed receiving an arrest warrant, mockingly tweeting that he will head to the prosecution office Sunday “unless they [prosecution] send me a police car today and save me transportation trouble.” Yesterday, Egypt’s prosecutor-general ordered the arrest of Youssef to investigate allegations that the comic had insulted President Mohamed Morsi and denigrated Islam, according to Ahram Online.

When Youseff turned himself in, he wore a giant hat:

HAHAHAHA! Bassem youssef arrived to the Public Prosecutor officer wearing Morsi’s Pakistani hat. twitter.com/AlaakGhanem/st…

— آلاء غانم (@AlaakGhanem) March 31, 2013

Most Twitter reaction is in Arabic, which Twitchy unfortunately cannot read. English-language tweets, however, have been overwhelmingly supportive of Yousef:

I support @drbassemyoussef against tyranny, oppression, radicalism and good old stupidity. Screw you morsi & mortada #Egypt

— Raymond Ayac (@Rey__) March 31, 2013

@drbassemyoussef your satirical humour is an eye opener for all! We stand by you and #media #freedom! #BassemYoussef #albarnameg, respect!!

— Raneem Hannoush (@RaneemHannoush) March 31, 2013

If u twist the law 2 end freedom of speech & detain @drbassemyoussef then u would twist any other law 2 detain any! SAD! #Egypt

— Omar Ghraieb (@Omar_Gaza) March 31, 2013

Pretty sure @drbassemyoussef is still inside because he’s signing autographs for the police officers who all know #Morsi is a tool. #Egypt

— Ahmed Kadry (@AhmedKadry) March 31, 2013

@drbassemyoussefyou are perfect don’t worry

— christian dior (@SokiDior) March 31, 2013

@drbassemyoussef. Soldier on, soldier.

— Shereen el Zorba (@ShereenZorba) March 31, 2013

Courage & Respect mean Dr.Bassem Youssef

— Alhan Elzamzami (@loletta3) March 31, 2013

In solidarity with the respectfulDr. Bassem Youssef !!! twitter.com/OmarJaber96/st…

— Omar Gaber (@OmarJaber96) March 31, 2013

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2013/03/31/egyptian-prosecutors-question-comic-bassem-youssef-over-allegations-of-denigrating-islam/



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