Jon Stewart made fun of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and his management of the country's problems on Monday's episode of "The Daily Show," after the popular Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef was arrested for insulting the Islamist president.
Youssef, known as "Egypt's Jon Stewart," frequently imitates Morsi's speeches and gestures on his television show.
Stewart poked fun at the situation in Egypt following the Arab Spring and its inability to resolve problems such as unemployment, a drop in tourism and attacks on women, and called the country a "work in progress."
He specifically targeted Morsi's tackling of these complex and urgent issues by arresting Youssef. Stewart said that rules on freedom of expression must be different in Egypt, where hateful remarks about religion are not allowed. He then showed a clip of Morsi saying inciting and hateful remarks about Jews and Zionists.
The United States on Monday accused Egypt of muzzling freedom of speech after prosecutors questioned the popular Egyptian television satirist over allegations he insulted the president and Islam.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland also suggested the Egyptian authorities were selectively prosecuting those accused of insulting the government while ignoring or playing down attacks on anti-government demonstrators.
Youseff, who rose to fame with a satirical online show after the uprising that swept autocrat Hosni Mubarak from power in 2011, turned himself in on Sunday after the prosecutor general issued an arrest warrant for the comedian on Saturday.
Youseff's program is now on television and has been compared to U.S. satirist Jon Stewart's the Daily Show. The host is accused of insulting Islam and undermining Morsi's standing. He was released on bail Sunday after nearly five hours of interrogation.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry raised the issue of freedom of expression with Morsi when he traveled to Cairo in early March on his first trip since taking office and the United States will continue to press for respect of human rights, Nuland said.
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