Court Rejects Case To Ban Egyptian Comic's Show

A popular comedian in Egypt is the frequent target of lawsuits because he pokes fun at the president and other government officials. Bassem Youssef hosts a TV show that's often compared to The Daily Show in the U.S. On Saturday, a court rejected a case calling for the ban of his program. The suit claimed the show corrupted morals and violated religious principles.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

In Egypt, Bassem Youssef has built a following by making jokes about his own government.

BASSEM YOUSSEF: (Foreign language spoken)

(LAUGHTER)

MARTIN: That's a bit of sound from Youssef's satirical TV show, which often gets compared to "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." His sharp critiques of the president and the ruling political party in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood, have made him famous. But his show has also stirred up controversy.

A lawyer for the Muslim Brotherhood brought a lawsuit against Youssef. He claimed that Youssef had insulted Islam and the president, and had promoted public disorder and corrupted morals. This past week, Egyptian prosecutors brought Youssef in for interrogation.

In the latest twist, yesterday, an Egyptian judge rejected the lawsuit against Youssef. But according to the Associated Press, Youssef remains under investigation by the government.

Still, on Friday, as usual, Bassem Youssef's show went on the air.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MARTIN: And you're listening NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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