Jon Stewart, the American comic and pundit is one of the most astute and important political commentators in the country today. His Egyptian counterpart, Bassam Youssef, is achieving similar status in the Arab world. Stewart’s affection for Yousef is well-known, leading to an appearance on Youssef’s famed Al-Bernameg show.
Bassam has a new column that’s worth reading about the unfolding situation in Egypt. In it, he takes to task the unfolding Egyptian Revolution/Coup for engaging in some of the same modalities of oppression and censorship that they have critiqued in the Muslim Brotherhood.
He begins by stating that in general he supports what is taking place under the second wave of the Revolution/Coup:
No. I support what happened on the 30th of June and saw that Morsi was unfit to be president but that doesn’t deny the fact that I believe there needs to be a thorough investigation into the events of the Republic Guard; that I’d like to know how long the Islamists TV channels will be closed; and that I find the private media to be full of discrimination and inciting rhetoric.
But Youssef then goes on to state that he holds the new Egyptian media and government responsible for atrocities of its own:
This ‘victory high’ and arrogance that you see in the private media is the same sort of behavior that ended the Brotherhood’s era, and overthrew their popularity. We are now repeating the Brotherhood’s same mistakes. It’s as though we have the memory span of a goldfish.
Even though Youssef’s note ends on a dire note, the note still marks the type of political maturity grounded in humanitarian outlook and ability to engage in self-critique (regardless of one’s political affiliation) that will eventually be part of what will deliver Egypt—and America—to the promised land of political equality.
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