Egyptian prosecutors question comic Bassem Youssef
Imagine Jon Stewart being arrested on charges of insulting Obama & contempt of Christianity. Yeah, that's how it is w Bassem Youssef #Egypt
— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) March 30, 2013
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:
— Raymond Ayac (@Rey__) March 31, 2013
— Raneem Hannoush (@RaneemHannoush) March 31, 2013
— Omar Ghraieb (@Omar_Gaza) March 31, 2013
— 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