I was looking through Al-Jazeera English online yesterday when I suddenly stumbled upon a very interesting article. The article brought to light the fact that Egyptian authorities had recently issued an arrest warrant against Bassem Youssef for insulting his country and Islam. This article was an interesting find for two reasons; (1) Bassem Youssef was shown in class as being the “Arab Jon Stewart” and (2) this shows another chapter in the ongoing post-revolutionary saga in Egypt.
Youssef is an ideal example of the changes that social media has brought to the Arab World before, during, and after the Arab Spring. His show is a very popular broadcast in Egypt and uses multiple outlets such as television, tweets, and more to comment on the daily events in Egypt. He is a fierce critic of the military and status quo in Egypt and also not an advocate of the Muslim Brotherhood. It is clear that Morsi’s government is also beginning to crackdown on opposition and criticism of the government. This could be the start of a new phase in the Egyptian Revolution in which Islamist and conservative elements of the military begin to lash out against the by products of the Arab Spring in Egypt; in particular the social media network that formed out of it.
If this is a part of a widening campaign, Egypt could be entering a volatile political state in which the Ikhwan fights the military and secular nationalists for power by crushing the voices of the opposition. This is just another step in which Egypt tries to figure out whether she will return to the military rule of the Mubarak era, move on to a stable secular democracy, or follow an islamic model of government whether that’s a democracy, theocracy, or something else has yet to be determined.
Egypt issues arrest warrant for satirist