The title of a recently released Yahoo! article is “Egyptian TV satirist released after questioning” (Web-site/URL: http://news.yahoo.com/egyptian-tv-satirist-released-questioning-172847023.html).
“Egypt’s most popular television satirist, who every week skewers (i.e. makes fun of) the Islamist president and HARD-LINE clerics on his Jon Stewart-style show, was released on bail Sunday (March 31, 2013) but could face charges of insulting the country’s leader and ISLAM (?)” There are TWO things to note here. First, once again, we are reminded of how PROBLEMATIC “hard-line clerics” are. They INSIST on doing things THEIR way, which means that they are ARROGANT, a fundamental characteristic of “Difficult People” (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgnAY_eXYbI). Secondly, how can MORSY represent “Islam?” THAT’S A JOKE.
“Bassem Youssef is the most prominent critic of President Mohammed Morsi (Morsy) to be called in for questioning in recent weeks, in what the opposition says is a campaign to INTIMIDATE critics amid wave after wave of political unrest in DEEPLY POLARIZED Egypt”. “intimidation” is the latest/another example of the “force and pain technique” (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgnAY_eXYbI). Also, on top of this, we DON’T need any more “deeply polarized” countries/societies.
“Arrest warrants have been issued for five prominent anti-government activists accused of INSTIGATING VIOLENCE“. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
“Deputy chief prosecutor Hassan Yassin DENIED the nearly FIVE-HOUR interrogation was part of an INTIMIDATION campaign and said his department was enforcing the law and seeking to establish some guidelines on FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION“. “The prosecution is THE PROTECTOR (?) of social rights and we work on implementing the law. … There must be guidelines for those working in the media to observe so as to not violate the law“. There are THREE things to note here. First, once again “intimidation” is an example of the “force and pain technique” (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgnAY_eXYbI). Secondly, a “satirist” getting/being arrested is an indication of THE LACK/ABSENCE OF “freedom of expression”. On top of all this, it seems like “the prosecution is the” DESTROYER “of social rights”.
“Morsi (Morsy) last week ACCUSED private media of fanning violence and argued that it was being used for political aims“. “accused” is the latest example of “Blaming and criticizing” (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-AJviZ8Itk).
“But Yassin denied that the prosecutor’s office was operating at the behest of the presidency to go after Morsi’s (Morsy’s) critics, saying it has also interrogated and sentenced Islamists. Morsi (Morsy) appointed the chief prosecutor late last year (2012) despite an outcry from many in the judiciary who ACCUSED him of TRAMPLING ON their right to choose the top prosecutor“. Again, there are TWO things to note here. First once again we notice “accused” which is another/the latest example of “Blaming and criticizing” (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-AJviZ8Itk).
“A court ruling last week declared Morsi’s (Morsy’s) appointment void, a verdict he will likely appeal”. “There is no contact between us (the judiciary) and the presidency. … Just like we moved against someone who insults Christianity, we moved against someone who is ACCUSED OF insulting Islam”. Well, “accusations” could be BASELESS/UNFOUNDED.
“Youssef is the host of the weekly political satire show known for his skits lampooning (making fun of/mocking) Morsi and Egypt’s newly empowered Islamist political class. But he also mocks THE OPPOSITION and THE MEDIA” in an effort to STAY BALANCED. “The fast-paced show has attracted a wide viewership, while at the same time earning its fair share of detractors. Youssef has been a frequent target of lawsuits, most of them brought by Islamist lawyers who accused him of “corrupting morals” or violating “religious principles“.
“Youssef frequently imitates Morsi’s (Morsy’s) speeches and gestures. He has fact-checked the president and in one particularly popular episode earlier this year (2013), he played video clips showing remarks by Morsi (Morsy), made in 2010 before he became president, calling Zionists “PIGS” which is obviously a HORRIBLE thing to call someone“Prosecutor Mohammed el-Sayed Khalifa was quoted on the website of the STATE-OWNED Al-Ahram daily that he has 28 plaintiffs in the case against Youssef, accusing him of insulting Islam, mocking prayers and “BELITTLING” Morsi (Morsy) in the eyes of the world and his own people”. Again, “state-owned” news agencies simply SPIT OUT GOVERNMENT PROPAGANDA.
“In remarks to a TV presenter on CBC, the private station that airs his program, Youssef said on Saturday (March 30, 2013) that his program does not insult Islam, but aims to expose those who “DISTORT” it”. “We DON’T insult religion. What we do is EXPOSE those so-called religious and Islamic stations which have OFFENDED Islam more than anyone else. “If anyone is to be investigated for insulting religions, it should be all those who USE Islam as A WEAPON and A POLITICAL TOOL to SWALLOW THE OTHERS using religion“. This is exactly what MORSY has done/is doing.
“When asked if programs in Egypt should be less scathing than those of the West, Youssef said: “We will give (the West) an example of how FREEDOMS ARE RESPECTED (?) after the revolution,” he said of the 2011 uprising that ousted longtime authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak”. “freedoms are respected” in THE MIDDLE EAST? REALLY? According to Al-Arabiya‘s RIMA MAKTABI, back when she hosted “Inside the Middle East on CNN from JORDAN University, she made a very important point: “Journalists and opinion makers in the Arab world are ASSASSINATED sometimes and are IMPRISONED because of their opinions” (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGzCQZAs-dE). This is EVEN MORE SO the case in EGYPT as we are seeing now with THIS CASE. That certainly DOES NOT sound like “freedoms are respected”. On the contrary, it seems like “freedoms are” SUPPRESSED.
“After turning himself in for questioning, Youssef first tweeted a series of quips from the prosecutor’s office”.
“They asked me THE COLOR OF MY EYES (?) Really“. Why is that relevant, unless it is aimed/intended to DISCRIMINATE?
“A news broadcaster at a TV station AFFILIATED WITH the Muslim Brotherhood, Misr, 25, ACCUSED Youssef of “MOCKING” the investigation. His tweets later were erased and he wrote that some reports from inside the interrogation room were “incorrect“. Again, there are TWO things to note here. First, once again, “accused” is the latest/another example of “Blaming and criticizing” (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-AJviZ8Itk&playnext=1&list=PL04C79B554E2F5E84&feature=results_video). On top of this, this TV station is “affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood”, making this yet another/the latest example of Muslim Brotherhood PROPAGANDA.
“Amr Moussa, a former presidential candidate, called the warrant for Youssef’s arrest a “PROVOCATION to Egyptians who are known for their love of what is funny“. The problem however is that to dictators, what is “funny” is often UNACCEPTABLE. “in an emailed statement”, Moussa said: “There is nothing odious (objectionable; despicable) about criticizing the president” obviously. “This HUMANIZES the president“. Morsy has made it clear that he DOESN’T WANT TO BE “humanized”. Instead, he wants to act like a PHARAOH.
“Gamal Eid, a rights lawyer, said ACCUSING Youssef of insulting religion — as opposed to just the president — is a tactic aimed at increasing public sympathy for the investigation”. “The accusation of insulting religion would MOBILIZE MORE PEOPLE AGAINST HIM (Youssef)”. Perhaps THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT MORSY WANTS. “accusing” is also the latest/yet another example of “Blaming and criticizing” (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-AJviZ8Itk).
“Gamal Heshmat, a Muslim Brotherhood lawmaker, dismissed the opposition’s claims of an intimidation campaign as an “EXAGGERATION“, adding that many critics of Morsi (Morsy) and his group are responsible for instigating violence and “OFFENDING” many in public”. THIS IS EXPECTED (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgnAY_eXYbI). After all, this is exactly what an UNdemocratic leader or a dictator would say. “What is the problem with ABIDING BY THE LAW? NO ONE WAS DETAINED (?) and THERE WERE NO EXTRA LEGAL MEASURES“, “adding that many critics of Morsi (Morsy) and his group are responsible for instigating violence and “offending” many in public”, describing THE MEDIA as “CHAOTIC“, with numerous attacks against Morsi, but few prosecutions. “It is OFFENSIVE … Let THE JUDICIARY decide,” YOUSSEF was “detained”. THIS IS A LIE. Also, Morsy seems to be “offended” by JUST ABOUT ANYTHING now. On top of all this, “the judiciary” in Egypt is ANYTHING BUT reliable.
“A prosecution official said Youssef was to pay a bail of 15,000 LE ($2,200), pending the completion of an investigation. Youssef tweeted that the bail is for three separate cases.
Finally, “Eid, the rights lawyer, said the release on bail means all options are open”. “The prosecution could continue investigation, PUT THE CASE ASIDE or SEND IT TO TRIAL“. Whatever happens, Egyptian politicians will be DRAGGING THEIR FEET.
So BASSEM YOUSSEF is the latest person to challenge the limits of free speech in Egypt. Perhaps he is the latest Egyptian/Arab to become AMERICANIZED after GIGI IBRAHIM (gsquare86) started this movement and inspired so many of her peers/colleagues to rise up and fight for their fundamental freedoms. Again, we should remind ourselves of how the WESTERN and ARAB/MUSLIM/MIDDLE EASTERN concepts of FREEDOM are often VERY different.