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Demonizing Egyptian calls for reconciliation

Bassem Youssef

Published: Updated:

I am against the Muslim Brotherhood as a whole. I criticized the group when it was in power, and said it consists of Nazis and fascists with corrupt politics. I confronted it as per my absolute conviction that it is full of deceitful and misleading liars, and that it does not deserve to rule a country such as Egypt.

I am very glad with the outcome of the June 30 protests, and with the overthrow of President Mohammad Mursi. I had written a lengthy article explaining how we would all suffer if he was not ousted. Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is a patriotic man who fulfilled the people’s aspirations of removing this group from power.

If I could go back in time, I would have called on people to vote for Mursi, because the fall of the Brotherhood could not have been achieved by suppressing it.

Bassem Youssef


The question now is what to do with the Brotherhood. The truth is, I do not know. I tend to agree with the opinion that there should not be reconciliation with a group that terrorizes and intimidates people. However, I do not understand how some make accusations of treason against those who support reconciliation.

If it was up to me, I would kiss the hand of everyone who elected Mursi. Do you think this unprecedented popular hatred of the Brotherhood would have happened if it had not been in power? We would have never discovered and exposed this group’s reality if it had not governed.

Spotlight on the Brotherhood

I did not get the chance to vote in the presidential elections last year because I was shooting the show “America in Arabic” outside Egypt. I refused to market any candidate, but after what I have seen now, if I could go back in time, I would have called on people to vote for Mursi, because the fall of the Brotherhood could not have been achieved by suppressing it, but by bringing it to the spotlight so the entire world could see that it is a failure.

However, do you really believe that those who favour reconciliation are traitors, undercover Brotherhood members or sleeper cells? Have the religious channels that were shut down brainwashed you so you now adopt their style of making random accusations without thinking?

The only person who has escaped such criticism until now is Mohamed ElBaradei. He has done so because he is in the cabinet that until now has taken Sisi's side. However, once ElBaradei is out of the cabinet, the same accusations that the Islamists made to distort his image will be made against him by others.

Regardless of the fact that it is impossible to delete hundreds of thousands from existence, I appreciate your concern over the country, and that you want to get rid of the Brotherhood. I know you want this crisis to end. However, you must also know that there are people in your camp who carry the same enmity as you towards the Brotherhood, but see that the security solution will fail, as it did before, and so a political solution is a must.

They might be wrong and you might be right, but for God’s sake, does disagreeing with someone’s opinion call for cursing them and targeting them with the same accusations that your enemies once made against them? Accusing people of treason, and blackmailing them under the slogan of patriotism, is no different than accusing others of infidelity - a technique that was applied against us.

Try not to lose your friends while on your quest to get rid of your enemies. Try not to lose those who once stood with you against Mursi and the Brotherhood. The accusation of ‘Brotherizing’ is a sword being held to the neck of everyone who disagrees. I am afraid that there will come a day when we hear no one but ourselves, and when degrees in patriotism are distributed any way we want.

This article was first published in Egypt-based al-Shorouk newspaper on July 30, 2013.


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Bassem Youssef is an Egyptian doctor, satirist, and the host of El Bernameg ("The Program"), a satirical news program broadcast by a private Egyptian television station. The press has compared Youssef with American comedian Jon Stewart, whose satire program The Daily Show inspired Youssef to begin his career. Despite all controversy and legal debates it has sparked, El Bernameg has been a major success. It is constantly topping the regional YouTube charts, making Youssef's YouTube channel one of the most subscribed to in Egypt.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.