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New Charges Against “Egypt’s Jon Stewart”: Promoting Atheism and Mocking the Attorney General

Authorities in Egypt may be preparing to pile on new charges against a popular satirist referred to as “Egypt’s Jon Stewart.” Bassem Youssef was detained last week on allegations of insulting both Islam and Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, triggering an international outcry that publicly pitted the Muslim Brotherhood against the U.S. State Department.

Youssef was reportedly cleared of crimes linked to insulting Morsi, but now stands charged of, among other things, “promoting atheism”:

Egyptian prosecutors have begun an investigation into three new complaints against TV satirist Bassem Youssef. He is accused of harming diplomatic ties between Egypt and Pakistan, promoting atheism and insulting the attorney-general…

Youssef is accused of harming diplomatic ties with Pakistan for his comments mocking President Morsi’s speech at a Pakistani university in March… The second allegation is based on Youssef’s comments about religious obligations, such as prayers, which allegedly promote atheism. The third allegation is over comments Youssef made at the prosecutor-general’s office that allegedly mocked the attorney-general.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s official Arabic website IkhwanOnline announced Tuesday that a lawyer from the Islamist “Egyptian Patriotic Movement” had filed three lawsuits against Youssef. The same day, Youssef confirmed on his Twitter feed that legal action had been taken against him.


International criticism of legal moves against Youssef has been mirrored on Arabic media:

[Photo: Albernameg / YouTube]