l’essentielThe statements made by Gérald Darmanin on Monday, linking the football player to the Islamist organization, are causing controversy. Karim Benzema’s lawyer has categorically denied these accusations and announced that the striker is considering filing a lawsuit. A LR deputy, on the other hand, has requested that his French nationality and Ballon d’Or be revoked.
C’est la nouvelle polémique improbable qui enflamme le net. Gérald Darmanin a affirmé qu’il existait un lien avec le footballeur Karim Benzema et les Frères musulmans, une organisation islamiste originaire d’Egypte.
Le ministère déclare qu’il y a une tendance vers un islam radical.
Can someone explain to Gérald Darmanin that Karim Benzema, who is « notoriously linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, » has signed in Saudi Arabia, a country that considers the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization?
— Olivier Tesquet (@oliviertesquet) October 17, 2023
Invité de l’émission de Pascal Praud sur CNews lundi 16 octobre, le ministre de l’Intérieur a déclaré : « Karim Benzema est en lien, on le sait tous, notoire, avec les Frères musulmans », sans apporter davantage de précisions. Gérald Darmanin s’exprimait à la suite de la publication sur Twitter (renommé X) de l’international de football adressant « toutes (ses) prières pour les habitants de Gaza victimes une fois de plus de ces bombardements injustes qui n’épargnent ni femmes, ni enfants ».
Toutes nos prières pour les habitants de Gaza victimes une fois de plus de ces bombardements injustes qui n’épargnent ni femmes ni enfants.
— Karim Benzema (@Benzema) October 15, 2023
When asked by AFP about the possibility of legal action by the minister, his team responded that the player’s « statements » from Al-Ittihad did not warrant legal proceedings. However, they added that they were a particularly ambiguous signal coming from an athlete with such a wide audience. « For several years now, we have observed a gradual shift in Karim Benzema’s statements towards a strict and rigid form of Islam, characteristic of the Frérist ideology which aims to spread Islamic norms in various areas of society, including sports, » continued the minister’s team.
They mention the player’s refusal to sing the Marseillaise during selections for the French national team, his « proselytism on social media regarding the Muslim faith, such as fasting, prayer, and the pilgrimage to Mecca » or his « support for the publication of Russian MMA fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov, a genuine incitement to hatred following the publication of caricatures of the prophet Muhammad in the French press. »
Demande de déchéance de nationalité et de retrait du ballon d’or
Some accusations that have been taken very seriously by some. LR deputy Valérie Boyer has requested that sanctions be imposed on the former Real Madrid striker if Gérald Darmanin’s statements prove to be true. She specifically demands that he be stripped of his French nationality. The elected official also suggests that the player should have his Ballon d’Or taken away, as a « symbolic » gesture. « We cannot accept that a French dual national, internationally known, can dishonor and even betray our country, » she concluded.
Eric Zemmour, on the other hand, went further by directly linking the footballer to the murderers of Dominique Bernard and Samuel Paty. « Karim Benzema (…) we know that he played for the French team solely for money and sporting results. (…) He is not French at heart, he does not love France, he has never loved it, » began the president of Reconquête. « Karim Benzema is a Muslim who wants to enforce Sharia law, Sharia law includes jihad, and jihad means killing Dominique Bernard and killing Samuel Paty…., » continued the far-right polemicist.
« You must be an exceptional individual. »
On his part, Jean-Luc Mélenchon came to the defense of the Al-Ittihad player. « I don’t know you and I know nothing about football. But the government and its allies have chosen to demonize you. They call you ‘paper French’. With such enemies who speak with such words, you must be a remarkable person, without ethnic or religious hatred, » declared the leader of La France insoumise in a tweet. « I know that France belongs to all those who choose it. Those who insult us do not deserve it, » he continued.
Hello Mr. Benzema. I am not familiar with you and I know nothing about football. However, the government and its allies have chosen to demonize you. They label you as a « paper Frenchman ». With such adversaries using such words, you must be an exceptional individual…
— Jean-Luc Mélenchon (@JLMelenchon) October 19, 2023
The player is considering filing a complaint.
An accusation that surprised many and was vigorously denied by the lawyer of the Ballon d’Or. « This is false! Karim Benzema has never had any relationship with this organization, » reacted Me Hugues Vigier in a statement. « He has actually chosen to live in Arabia, which has declared the said terrorist organization, something that has never been done in France, » Me Vigier continues.
« I cannot reword »