Egyptian Jon Stewart to be Arrested, Gagged

Imagine saying this on TV — in a country whose overwhelmingly Muslim and notoriously restive population put an Islamist president in office only last year.

“Anyone can form a group in the name of religion, assassinate in the name of religion, and then oops! Repent and fast for three months, and it will too pass in the name of religion.”

Seems a little risky, doesn’t it? That remark, and other instances of public mockery, have now caught up to Egyptian truth-teller Bassem Youssef, who has come to be known as Egypt’s Jon Stewart. An local prosecutor has just issued a warrant for Youssef’s arrest.

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The warrant against Youssef is the latest in a series of legal actions against the comedian, whose widely-watched weekly show, “ElBernameg” or “The Program,” has become a platform for lampooning the government, opposition, media and clerics. He has also used his program to fact-check politicians.

The fast-paced show has attracted a wide viewership, while at the same time earning itself its fair share of detractors. Youssef has been a frequent target of lawsuits, most of them brought by Islamist lawyers who have accused him of “corrupting morals” or violating “religious principles.”

In other words, he’s our kind of guy. Here’s hoping Youssef will remain unscathed and unbowed.

[image via the Washington Post]