A defense of satire: Stewart throws his weight behind fellow funnyman Youssef

Published April 2nd, 2013 - 07:49 GMT
Jon Stewart is the US political satirist (image used for illustrative purposes)
Jon Stewart is the US political satirist (image used for illustrative purposes)

Top US satirist Jon Stewart has dedicated a section of his Daily Show to condemning and mocking President Mohamed Morsi over the interrogation of Bassem Youssef.

The prosecutor-general issued an arrest warrant against TV satirist Bassem Youssef on Saturday after complaints were made against him for allegedly insulting the president, denigrating Islam and spreading false news with the aim of disrupting public order.

Youssef was released on bail of LE15,000 ($2,142).

Stewart mocked President Morsi for targeting media figures and activists instead of dealing with Egypt's growing economic and social problems.

The deteriorating economy, crumbling infrastructure and rising levels of sexual harassment were amongst the things President Morsi should be focusing on, Stewart said.

Stewart wondered what would happen to him if insulting the president was illegal in the US.

"Making fun of the president's hats and less than fluent English? That was my entire career for eight years ... that is all I did," he said, showing a picture of himself wearing a cowboy hat and mocking George W. Bush.

Stewart played a video showing President Morsi describing Jews as the descendants of apes and pigs in order to highlight the weakness and hypocrisy of the accusations against Youssef.

"There are two things he [Youssef] loves with his heart: Egypt and Islam ... He loves Egypt so much even though some crazy guy is threatening to arrest him," Stewart said.

"By the way, without Bassem and all those journalists and bloggers and brave protesters who took to Tahrir Square to voice descent, you, President Morsi, would not have been in a position to repress them," he added.

Youssef appeared on The Daily Show with John Stewart in June last year and has acknowledged that Stewart is an inspiration for his own El Barnameg TV show.


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