A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, April 1, 2013

Bassem Youssef's Hat Trick

This actually took place yesterday, but it seems appropriate for April Fool's Day. Egyptian political satirist Bassem Youssef, summoned by the Prosecutor General on charges of "insulting" President Morsi and denigrating Islam, showed up at court like this:
Now, if the ridiculously large hat seems to ring a bell, it's because it evokes this picture of Morsi receiving an honorary degree at a Pakistani university a couple of weeks back:
Insulting the President is the sort of charge often used during the later years of Husni Mubarak, to silence political and social critics. As Morsi, Egypt's first elected President, seems to act more and more like Egypt's unelected Presidents,  this sort of harassment is happening more and more. But it is drawing plenty of unwelcome publicity. (Morsi can theoretically claim it was not his doing as a group of Islamist lawyers brought the charges, but he's getting the blame).

Mr. Morsi, elected Presidents need to learn that they will be targted by comedians in a free society. It's the dictators who throw them in jail.

And Youssef reportedly tweeted that the police and court officials wanted to have their pictures taken with him.

UPDATED: Youssef talks to CNN:
It's too bad that Morsi and the Muslim Brothers appear more and more to be the only Egyptians in 5000 years to be born without a sense of humor.

UPDATE II: And just in case you've forgotten, the Courts have ruled the Prosecutor General himself was illegally appointed. They're just feeding Bassem Youssef more material.

No comments: