‘Jon Stewart of the Middle East’ Arrested

Allegedly insulted Egyptian president, Islamic faith
Bassem Youssef / AP

Bassem Youssef / AP


Bassem Youssef, host of “The Program,” a television show similar to “The Daily Show,” was arrested over the weekend, Deadline reported.

[Youssef was] summoned for questioning by Egypt’s public prosecutor after an arrest warrant was issued on accusations of insulting Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and the Islamic faith. Youssef appeared in court on Sunday where he posted a $2,200 bail on three lawsuits filed against him, according to CNN. He wrote on Twitter that there was a fourth pending, but that no date had been given for an investigation. Youssef has been sued before, but this is the first time the prosecutor has followed up with legal action. …

‘The Program,’ is watched by a reported 30 million viewers across the Middle East. Per the BBC, sketches in which Youssef put Morsi’s image on a pillow and separately portrayed him as a pharaoh dubbed “Super Morsi,” so angered one Islamist lawyer that it resulted in a formal complaint leading to the warrant this weekend. …

Youssef’s arrest comes as the Morsi government has been accused of trying to stifle free speech.