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Posts Tagged ‘Bassem Youssef’

The Ottoman Slap

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Originally published at Gatestone Institute.

The Turkish government intends to maintain its control. Both Facebook and Twitter have refused to provide user data to the authorities, so the Transport and Communications Minister has warned that social media websites refusing to cooperate will receive an “Ottoman slap.”

You have heard of the Cairo quickstep, the Judas kiss and the Giocanda smile. Now we have the Ottoman slap.

In the April issue of The Atlantic, King Abdullah of Jordan in an interview spoke of the emergence of a new, radical alliance – one that both complemented and rivaled the Iranian-led Shia crescent: the development of a Muslim Brotherhood crescent in Egypt and Turkey. It was no accident that President Morsi spoke at Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party’s congress last September, where Prime Minister Erdoğan declared that the government was following the path of the Ottoman sultans Mehmet II and Selim I. Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, was also present and hailed Erdoğan as “not just the leader of Turkey but also the leader of the Islamic world.”

According to King Abdullah, Erdoğan’s AK Party was promoting a softer-edged version of Islamism. He regarded Erdoğan as a more restrained and savvy version of Mohamed Morsi, who instead of following the Turkish model and taking six or seven years, wanted to change things overnight. Now, as present events show, things are unraveling for both Morsi and Erdoğan.

The broad-based Tamarod ["Rebel"] movement in Egypt has in common with the Turkish “çapulcu” [marauders], as Prime Minister Erdoğan contemptuously called the Gezi Park protesters, that they want their country’s leader removed; and in both instances, the government has cracked down on dissent. The Tamarod movement claims to have 15 million signatures calling for President Morsi’s resignation; and, according to an official estimate, two and half million Turks, mostly under 30, took part in the country-wide protests.

In March, Egypt’s popular comedian, Bassem Youssef, who has his own show modeled on Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show,” was arrested for allegedly insulting President Morsi and Islam. In the first 200 days since Morsi came to power, there have been two dozen similar cases, more than in the 30 years Mubarak ruled, a pattern that liberal politician Mohamed Elbaradei said was characteristic of “fascist regimes.”

In Turkey, this is nothing unusual: over the years, its notoriously thin-skinned prime minister has earned a tidy sum from suing those he claims have defamed him. In April, Turkish concert pianist Fazıl Say was given a 10-month suspended prison sentence for a number of tweets considered to have denigrated Islam. Reporters Without Borders has, in its 2013 World Press Freedom Index, ranked Turkey at number 154 (last year it was 148) out of 179 countries, as it is currently the world’s biggest prison for journalists.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland called Bassem Youssef’s arrest “evidence of a disturbing trend of growing restrictions on the freedom of expression,” which Morsi’s Freedom and Justice Party considered “blatant interference in the internal affairs of Egypt.”

In February, the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, Francis Ricciardone, created a furor, when, at a discussion with Ankara bureau chiefs, he stated, “you have members of Parliament who have been behind bars for a long time, sometimes on unclear charges. You have your military leaders, who were entrusted with the protection of this country, behind bars as if they were terrorists. You have professors. You have the former head of YÖK [Higher Education Board] who is behind bars on unclear charges [….] You have non-violent student protesters, protesting tuition hikes, behind bars.”

Ambassador Ricciardone concluded, “When a legal system produces such results and confuses people like that for terrorists, it makes it hard for American and European courts to match up.” Nuland then stated that Ricciardone had said nothing new; however Prime Minister Erdoğan angrily responded, “Turkey is not anybody’s scapegoat.”

A study by New York University describes the role played by the social media in the recent unrest as “phenomenal,” but Prime Minister Erdoğan has declared Twitter to be “a menace,” and the social media as “the worst menace to society.” During his election campaign, Erdoğan branded Facebook as “ugly technology;” nevertheless, there are 2.1 million “likes” on his official Facebook page.

Muslim Brotherhood Tweet on Jews Aimed at Jon Stewart (Video)

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood tweeted a message – believed to be directed at “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart – linking to a video alleging that Jews control the U.S. media.

Max Fisher of the Washington Post wrote on his blog that the link was aimed at Stewart after he devoted a segment of his popular Comedy Central program to criticizing Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi for jailing popular Egyptian TV host and political satirist Bassem Youssef, nicknamed “the Jon Stewart of Egypt.” Youssef was released on bail and will face trial after being arrested over the weekend for criticizing Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.

The link was from a clip in Arabic from the Al Jazeera Arabic network featuring former CNN host Rick Sanchez alleging that Jews control the media and that Stewart, who is Jewish, does not belong to a real minority group.

“I’m telling you that everybody who runs CNN is a lot like Stewart, and a lot of people who run all the other networks are a lot like Stewart, and to imply that somehow they, the people in this country who are Jewish, are an oppressed minority? Yeah,” Sanchez said in the September 2010 broadcast.

The U.S. Embassy in Cairo tweeted the “Daily Show” link of the segment ripping Morsi, which the Muslim Brotherhood in a tweet called “Another undiplomatic & unwise move by @USEmbassyCairo, taking sides in an ongoing investigation & disregarding Egyptian law & culture,” Fisher reported.



Egypt’s Jon Stewart Jailed

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

Bassem Youssef, who hosts a television show modeled after Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” confirmed on his official Twitter account that he received an arrest warrant, mockingly saying he will head to the prosecution office Sunday “unless they send me a police car today and save me transportation trouble,” Al Ahram reported.

Ealier on Saturday, Egypt’s prosecutor-general ordered the arrest of the famous political satirist, to look into complaints accusing him of insulting President Mohamed Morsi, denigrating Islam and spreading false news with the aim of disrupting public order.

Youssef hosts a weekly satire show, El-Bernameg (The Show), on private satellite television channel CBC.

The complaints were filed by 12 citizens after Youssef’s March 1 episode in which he mocked the president’s public interview with TV anchor Amr El-Leithy in February.

One anonymous complainant accused Youssef of denigrating Islam and disturbing security, and demanded that the state take “deterrent measures against him so that others with weak resolve wouldn’t dare to insult Islam.” The same anonymous person also accused Youssef of diminishing President Morsi’s stature “domestically and abroad.”

Heba Morayef of Human Rights Watch thinks the Egyptian government has signaled that it takes Youssef’s threat seriously, going so far as to appoint a judge to investigate the complaints against him, according to.

“It means you’re prioritizing the case, and dedicating resources to it,” Morayef told the NY Times, noting wryly that the same public prosecutor has ignored numerous complaints of torture and the use of excessive force. Issuing an arrest warrant without a reasonable fear that Youssef had any intent to flee the country “is completely unnecessary and definitely a political escalation,” she said.

In January, a number of Islamist lawyers filed a lawsuit against Youssef, accusing him of “undermining the standing of the president” during his show.

However, charges back then were dropped before the case reached a court.



Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/egypts-jon-stewart-jailed/2013/03/31/

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