Following are excerpts from Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef's TV show, which aired on CBC TV on October 25, 2013.
Bassem Youssef: In the general atmosphere in the country, people sometimes do not accept the opinions of others. When people live in fear, apprehension, and worries, and their lives are controlled by the desire to take revenge upon others, they are not, unfortunately, able to listen to other views – let alone to satire.
It is not about laughing and joking around. It usually boils down to whether you are with us or against us. We have known for a long time that it is impossible to please everyone. Some people are constantly trying to classify you – who do you support?
The truth is that I don't like the question "Who do you support?" But I can tell you who I do not support. I definitely do not support the people who attacked us, accused us of heresy, had the gallows ready for us, and publicly demanded to arrest us. I couldn't care less about their opinion.
By the same token, I do not support the hypocrisy, deification, and "pharaoh-ization," and the repetition of the mistakes of the past 30 or even 60 years. I cannot support people who hope that the army will split, and who dream of a Syrian scenario of tank against tank, civil war, and foreign intervention, and who support the Ghana [national soccer team against Egypt].
By the same token, I'm against people being accused of treason, against intimidation, and against the return of indiscriminate arrests and violence by the security agencies. It's difficult for me to turn a blind eye to all the human beings who were wronged – arrested or killed merely for being in the wrong place, or because someone spread rumors about them, or because they were suspected of something.
After June 30, we were told that this revolution was waged for democracy and freedom of thought, and against religious fascism. What we fear is that fascism in the name of religion will be replaced by fascism in the name of patriotism and national security.
Bassem Youssef continues to talk, while a hand comes out from under the table, snatches his papers and replaces them with others
We are a free voice! Nobody will tell us what to say. No one will trick us. We shall say what we want. We shall say loud and clear: "I am a slave to the orders of anyone who..." No!!! I didn't say that. We will not listen to anyone who tries to intimidate us. We want freedom! We want freedom!...
The hand slaps him
Freedom in the wrong hands is not a good thing either...
Addressing the hand:
Who is your hand so heavy, you... [beep]
No! I will not give in. I shall go on fighting censorship and interference. I am not afraid of anyone. The days of fear are gone. I shall not be intimidated. Nobody can do anything to me. I am untouchable!
See you all next week.