When the Material Writes Itself: Jon Stewart, Bassem Youssef and the Muslim Brotherhood

When watching Bassem Youssef skillfully deliver satiric political commentary on “El-Bernameg” (The Program), it is impossible not to be almost startled by the resemblance to Jon Stewart’s “Daily Show”. The similar set and the fact that, let’s be honest, they kind of look the same, doesn’t help. Youssef’s recent legal trouble in Egypt – namely being charged with “insulting the president and Islam” – has received significant coverage. The back-story is worth getting caught up on, especially if you’re a fan of Jon Stewart, who had Youssef on his show last June, and also dedicated an impressively long portion of his show last Monday to protest the charges against his “brother” Bassem. The charges were dropped on Saturday, but beyond a minor diplomatic skirmish, this debacle has brought renewed attention – nationally and internationally – to the clumsy, yet alarming behaviour of President Mohammed Morsi, and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. Continue reading