Hezbollah supporters in 'intimidation campaign' against Lebanese comedian

Hezbollah supporters in 'intimidation campaign' against Lebanese comedian
2 min read
08 November, 2021
Fans of the young Shia comedian have massively promoted his work on Twitter, in response to a Hezbollah-led intimidation campaign which targeted him over the weekend.
The 28-years old comedian became known on social media for his satirical videos and stand-up comedy [Hussein Kaouk/Instagram]

Lebanese comedian Hussein Kaouk has fallen prey to an online harassment campaign on Saturday and Sunday, led by Hezbollah-affiliated media outlets. In response, the comedian's fans posted hundreds of his videos on Twitter, promoting his work under the Arabic hashtag "Hussein Kaouk".

The social media storm against Kaouk picked up over the weekend after Hezbollah-affiliated newspaper Al Akhbar published an article criticising Kaouk and other Lebanese satirists on Friday.

"Satirical programming uses political discourse wrapped in a veil of humour to implement a clear agenda," wrote Al-Akhdar, before going through a list of "dangerous" satirical shows.

The article concluded by analysing one of Kaouk's video published on the TV channel Al Jadeed as an example of the "demonisation of the environment of the Resistance" - referring to Hezbollah as the force of resistance against Israel.

The video in question featured Kaouk as a street protester answering questions from a journalist. On questions about his religious sect, Kaouk answered "Shia" and joked that while Lebanese from all sects take part in demonstrations, Shias are being paid to take to the streets – referring to protests staged by Hezbollah.

Criticism of the sketch was quickly picked up on social media, where Hezbollah supporters accused Kaouk of "taking part in a political agenda" under the guise of humour.

An intimidation campaign ensued, with some social media users violently calling on people to "drag him in the street by the hair".

Others took Kaouk's side and launched a counter-campaign in his defence, massively promoting his work.

The 28-years old comedian, who is himself Shia, became known on social media for his satirical videos and stand-up comedy shows that depict Lebanese society, with a focus on Shia circles.