Egyptian political satirist Bassem Youssef returned to television on Friday with a bang, drawing both praise and criticism from all sides of the political spectrum after an almost three-month hiatus.
Youssef, sparing no one in the season three premier of El-Bernameg (The Program), poked fun at ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as the zealous supporters of army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.
Indeed, a legal complaint regarding the show’s content was lodged to Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat not even a day after El–Bernameg‘s return, with many more expected to be made in the near future.
Although Friday’s El-Bernameg was not as singularly focused on Islamist critique as it had been during Morsi’s year in power, the Islamist camp still received a generous share of ridicule.
During a song and dance sketch to the tune of “Old MacDonald had a Farm,” Youssef altered the iconic song’s lyrics in order to “explain” to Egypt’s children the events leading to Morsi’s ouster last summer.
“After the revolution we got a president who thought we could be duped,” Youssef and co sang in Arabic against the beat of drums.”His Renaissance programme was a terrible idea … so the people decided to revolt.”
Later, Youssef played a video of Morsi during his year in power saying it was acceptable to “sacrifice a faction of society in order for the nation to live.” Youssef sarcastically noted how Morsi’s fate has been reversed today, remarking that the ‘faction’ for sacrifice has become the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies.
Another video dating back to Morsi’s rule showed pro-Muslim Brotherhood Islamic preacher Safwat Hegazy announcing that he would shut down all opposition channels within his power. In a biting critique, Youssef pointed out that it was Islamist channels that were ultimately taken off the air following Morsi’s ouster. see more