Islamist lawyer Mahmoud Abu el-Aineen petitioned the Egyptian court to ban Bassem Youssef's (known as the Jon Stewart of the Arab world) political satire television series 'El Bernameg,' which translates in English to 'The Program.' The suit was brought due to Youssef performing a comedy sketch on 'El Bernameg' where he had imposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi's face onto a pillow and depicted him in a silly manner; el-Aineen claimed in his suit that this was an insult to the President as well as to the Islamist faith as a whole (despite Youssef being a practicing Muslim himself).
Earlier today, the Egyptian court dismissed Mahmoud Abu el-Aineen's suit to ban 'El Bernameg,' in what can be seen as a huge step towards freedom of speech in the region. While speaking recently about political satire and the Arab Spring at SXSW, Youssef said of Egypt "we’re not exactly the most stable democracy… We’re at a turning point so people maybe don’t take criticism as well as they do [in America]."
Unfortunately, although Mahmoud Abu el-Aineen's specific suit was dismissed, Youssef remains open to criminal charges regarding accusations that he insulted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and the Islamic faith. Youssef was arrested last week and released on bail on Sunday.
Many Americans have spoken in support of Youssef, the most prominent being his US counterpart Jon Stewart. Youssef appeared on 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart' last year and the pair seem to have developed a mutual admiration for each other's efforts to combat political ignorance through comedy.