This is the video that sort of started it all. Well, actually it was the arrest of Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef’ that really started it all!
The Muslim Brotherhood’s interrogation of Bassem Youssef has attracted international attention, with some condemning the arrest as the new leadership’s failure.
Youssef is also known in his native land as Egypt’s Jon Stewart. Now things took on a new dimension 9not an expected one, though) when Jon Stewart took up the issue in his “Daily Show” defending Youssef.
An unexpected turn came, however, when the U.S. embassy in Cairo sent out a link to the Stewart clip, inciting a response from the Egyptian government and turned the whole incident into a diplomatic rift.
The U.S. embassy deleted the offending tweet but the damage had been done.
As he explained in an interview with CNN, prosecutors questioned him for hours about episodes of his program forcing him to explain joke after joke and finally releasing him only after he had posted bail.
It seems they want to drain us physically, emotionally and financially— Dr Bassem Youssef (@DrBassemYoussef) April 1, 2013
A new investigation against me is to be started because oflast episode. Accusations include spreading rumors and disturbing the "Peace"— Dr Bassem Youssef (@DrBassemYoussef) April 1, 2013
On the other hand, president Morsi’s office said in a statement posted on Facebook that the interrogation of Mr. Youssef had been carried out by a fully independent prosecutor (albeit one appointed by Mr. Morsi) investigating complaints “initiated by citizens rather than the presidency.” Under Mr. Morsi’s rule, the statement added, “All citizens are free to express themselves without the restrictions that prevailed in the era of the previous regime.”
That prompted a series of critical tweets from @Ikhwanweb, the Muslim Brotherhood’s official, English-language Twitter feed, and an indignant statement from the Islamist movement’s Freedom and Justice Party claiming that the main charge against Mr. Youssef was not mocking the president but insulting his religion.
#FJP: Defaming religion allegation is a serious offense, a violation of Egyptian law, culture & values, and a threat to societal peace— Ikhwanweb (@Ikhwanweb) April 2, 2013
#FJP:We also reaffirm our respect to freedom of expression & criticizing those at the executive helm & Prez within boundaries of law & const— Ikhwanweb (@Ikhwanweb) April 2, 2013
However, not everyone agrees with them:
@ikhwanweb culture & values are going to the bin .. ppl r lynching criminals on the street because u r busy following sarcasm with lawsuits— Mostafa Hussein (@moftasa) April 2, 2013
@ikhwanweb Silencing your critics instead of, y'know, doing your jobs might be a sign that you need to get your priorities straight.— Sara Yasin (@missyasin) April 2, 2013
.@ikhwanweb When Egypt's gov is funded by the US, I don't think Egypt's affairs are Egypt's alone anymore..Face it, you're in a relationship— Ghazala Irshad (@ghazalairshad) April 2, 2013