Is Bassam Youssef, Egypt’s Jon Stewart, the Face of a Failed Revolution?

by
Sameera Ehteram
Hardly a year and a half after it shook the world; the great Egyptian revolution is apparently being threatened.

Bassam Youssef

Hardly a year and a half after it shook the world; the great Egyptian revolution is apparently being threatened.

Bassem Youssef, Egypt's most popular television satirist, also widely known as Egypt’s Jon Stewart was apprehended on charges of insulting the country's leader and Islam.

The moment that happened, many saw the gist of the great Egyptian revolution went flying out of the window!

Bassem and his his show Al Bernameg rose to fame after the uprising that swept Hosni Mubarak from power in 2011. Since then he has been a frequent target of lawsuits mostly for his merciless critique of those in power as well as radical Muslim clerics.

Though he has been released on bail, chances are, he could face charges of insulting the country's leader as well as Islam.

Bassem Youssef’s prosecution is indeed a way to intimidate critics in Egypt. The claim of his insulting religion is a smart tactic as well as it is bound to rile people of Egypt against him.

Without doubt the whole episode has given rise to fears over freedom of expression in the post-Mubarak Egypt. Morsi, who took reign of a revolt-ridden Egypt, has failed to deliver the basic promises of democracy.

Walking in the footsteps of his predecessor, he has accused private media of fanning violence and argued that it was being used for political aims.

Besides the arrest of Bassem Youssef, arrest warrants have been issued for five prominent anti-government activists who were accused of instigating violence.

It indeed gives rise to questions regarding the post revolution Egypt and whether the long months of revolt, struggles and sacrifices were worth it.

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