April 29, 2013
April 29, 2013
Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef was criticized by critics this week for “insulting Islam” for hosting a gay band on his show.
But in retaliation, Youssef said it was not his place to ask his guests’ sexual orientation.
In an a live interview with Huffington Post’s Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, Youssef said “it’s ridiculous” that critics would condemn him of misrepresenting Islam because he hosted on his show on Friday a prominent Lebanese band Mashrou Leila, whose lead singer Hamed Sinno is openly gay.
“I heard their song and I didn’t ask about their orientation,” said Youssef. “We invited them and they came… I did not check his background.”
Shihab-Eldin said he interviewed Youssef on the topic of homosexuality because the political satire comedian was criticized of insulting religion by “giving them [homosexuals] a platform” on his show.
“Among his critics – some have said in hosting the band, he was ‘insulting Islam’,” Shihab-Eldin told Al Arabiya.
The Lebanese alternative rock band has held concerts in Egypt previously, which led Youssef to question why it was controversial that he hosted the band.
“It’s a popular band being heard all over the place,” Youssef told Eldin. “I heard their song and I didn’t ask about their orientation.”
“They will try to dig out anything to alienate you in front of the people whether it is religion or it is America,” the comedian added.
Concluding his interview with Shihab-Eldin, the heart surgeon turned comedian reiterated, “I’m a proud practicing Muslim and I would hate to see my religion high jacked by people who think they are holier than us.”
Youssef’s weekly satire show “AlBernameg”, which first launched on YouTube last year, now attracts more than 30 million viewers across the Middle East.
Last month, Egypt’s public prosecutor ordered the immediate arrest of popular TV host Bassem Youssef, calling for him to be brought in for alleged insults he made about Islam and the Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi.
Source: Al Arabiya