Early Saturday morning (30th March), I received word that Bassem Youssef, the Arab world’s ‘Jon Stewart’, had been issued an arrest warrant and compulsory summons by the prosecutor-general. The charges? ‘Insulting Islam’ and ‘insulting the president’. I was not really sure if this was actually a news story, or a gimmick that Bassem Youssef’s team had come up with – because certainly, it was never, ever, going to be something that the Egyptian state was going to benefit from.
Even as Bassem Youssef goes to the High Court to respond to the summons, I guarantee – it will not be a day that works out in his opponents’ favor.H.A. Hellyer