U.S. embassy in Cairo briefly disables Twitter account after Jon Stewart tweet

The embassy had tweeted a link to a "Daily Show" clip that was taken as an insult to Mohammed Morsi

By Prachi Gupta

Published April 3, 2013 8:00PM (EDT)

The Muslim Brotherhood's interrogation of Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef has attracted international attention, with some decrying the arrest as the leadership's most serious infringement on free speech since Mohammed Morsi became president last year. Now comedian Jon Stewart has weighed in on the conflict, devoting 11 minutes of "Daily Show" coverage to lambasting Morsi and defending Youssef (who, not-so-coincidentally, has been hailed as the "Egyptian Jon Stewart"):

On Tuesday, the U.S. embassy in Cairo sent out a link to the Stewart clip, inciting a response from the Egyptian government:

[embedtweet id="319135360586244097"]

The U.S. embassy responded on Wednesday by disabling its Twitter feed temporarily and then deleting the offending tweet, sparking what the AP calls "an unusual diplomatic incident."

From the AP:

The development comes as tensions between Washington and Cairo have increased in recent days over concerns that the Egyptian government is backsliding on the protection of human rights.

Secretary of state John Kerry said on Tuesday that Washington has "real concerns about the direction Egypt appears to be moving in", adding that Egypt is at a "tipping point". His comments followed a blistering riposte from Egypt's ruling Muslim Brotherhood to criticism of Youssef's arrest leveled on Monday by state department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.


Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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Bassem Youssef Cairo Egypt Jon Stewart The Daily Show Video