Egyptian star satirist Bassem Youssef talks to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour about participating in American politics - and mocking it.
In the satirical tone for which the Egyptian surgeon-come-comedian is distinctly known for, Bassem Youssef appears on CNN and discusses American politics with British Iranian CNN journalist and television hostess Christiane Amanpour. Youssef talks with Amanpour about his experience in delving into American politics, and even satirically participating in some of its forms.
Commenting on a picture showing him holding a poster saying ‘the silent majority stands with Trump’, Youssef says, “When I was covering the [Donald] Trump rally…I was there and I was swept away with the xenophobia, demagogue, and hatred. I felt quite at home.” In response, Amanpour acknowledges that this might be comical but inquires about the comedian’s thoughts about banning Muslims from the country. In turn, Youssef explains that what is “scary” is not what Trump says but that people endorse it. “Trump is one guy,” he comments, “The problem with Trump is that he gave a voice to many voiceless, angry, hateful people who are now saying ‘hey he’s an idiot, I can be an idiot too’."Youssef even states that, while Trump is spreading such rhetoric for show and stunt, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio do it out of conviction, which he sees as “equally dangerous or even more so.” The Egyptian satirist then adds that the same issue is reflected in his own country. “It the same thing; the fear. Fear of the other – some sort of an imaginary conspiracy. Everybody is out there to get us,” he expresses.
When another picture of Youssef is shown of him at a gun shop, holding a shotgun, he comments that he went there to delve into American gun culture. “I wanted to get into the gun culture and mentality,” he says, later expressing his surprise that the weapons allegedly used for hunting include automatic weapons. “Star Wars kind of weapons…seriously how fast is that deer?” Youssef also comically asks how it is that Arabs are the ones seen as terrorist with that kind of mentality taking over American culture.