The French Interior Minister makes a false claim about Karim Benzema, a soccer star.
The French Interior Minister makes a false claim about Karim Benzema, a soccer star.

The 2022 Ballon d’Or winner, Karim Benzema, is one of France’s most popular soccer players, but he’s in a lot of political trouble right now because of the war between Israel and Hamas.

French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin told the French news site CNews on Monday that Benzema was linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, a political and religious group that France sees as a terrorist organization.

“We have closed 1,100 Islamist businesses,” Darmanin said in the TV interview. And I’ve been especially interested in Mr. Benzema these past few weeks because he is famously linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Muslim Brotherhood is like a monster that needs to be slain because they make a “atmospheric jihadism,” as the political scientist Gilles Kepel would say.

Darmanin didn’t back up what he said with any proof. CNN has asked the French Ministry of the Interior to explain what Darmanin said.

A Benzema’s lawyer, Hugues Vigier, told CNN station BFMTV-RMC Sport on Thursday that the player did not have any ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and that they were thinking about suing the minister.

“[Darmanin] is spreading lies, which is not something you do without being careful,” Vigier said. “You don’t have the right when you’re Minister of the Interior; your word is law.”

Vigier also said: “So, if it’s true, what does it have to do with the Muslim Brotherhood?” He doesn’t back them up, then. Furthermore, it is truly amazing that France’s top police officer can say such clear things without any proof; otherwise, he wouldn’t have said them.

Then you saw when he said this particular thing. It appears out of the blue. That sounds like something that needs to be marked in a corner. We don’t know why these words are in this line at this time. It will make noise if you don’t say it. “Well, that’s not allowed.”

CNN asked Benzema’s lawyers for a comment, but they said they didn’t have one to give and couldn’t say for sure if a case would be made against Darmanin.

For Real Madrid, Benzema won the UEFA Champions League five times and scored 354 goals. He then moved to the Saudi Pro League and joined Al-Ittihad this summer.

Many people think this shooter is one of the best French players of all time because he has played 97 times for France’s men’s national team and scored 37 goals. After his first game for his country in 2007, he stopped playing for his country’s team last year.

Darmanin’s claims come after Benzema wrote on Sunday that he stood with Palestinians in the current war in Gaza, which, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry, has killed at least 3,500 people. Officials in Israel say that the attacks in Gaza came after a large-scale terror attack in Israel on October 7 by the country’s Hamas leaders, which killed 1,400 people.

“All of our prayers are with the people of Gaza, who are once again being hurt by unfair bombings that don’t discriminate against women or children,” Benzema wrote on X, which used to be Twitter.

A religious and political group called the Muslim Brotherhood was created with the idea that Islam is more than just a religion. It is a way of life. People who believe in it say that families, groups, and states should follow the rules in the Quran instead of liberalism.

The Muslim Brotherhood says that it will not use violence to get what it wants. But branches of the Brotherhood have been linked to strikes in the past, and some people say that the Brotherhood is to blame for other problems in the Middle East. A lot of people think of it as the start of current radical Islamism. There is no proof that the Muslim Brotherhood is linked to Hamas’ attack on Israel.

A controversial new law from the government of France banned pro-Palestinian protests in the country, but large groups of protesters still took to the streets in Paris last week.

Darmanin said the ban would happen because he was worried about public safety. The minister said, “Pro-Palestinian protests must be banned because they are likely to cause problems with public order.” He also said that people who plan these kinds of protests will be arrested.

Darmanin also asked the police to protect all places where French Jews go, like schools and churches, and said that any outsider who does anything anti-Semitic in France will be “immediately expelled.”

Damanin was asked on French TV on Monday if Benzema embodies the “feeling of embracing the Palestinian cause, almost in opposition to what may be happening.”

To which Darmanin replied, “You can support the Palestinian cause and want a Palestinian state without wanting to kill Jewish kids on the kibbutz.” If you have a voice like Mr. Benzema’s, you should at least oppose the Hamas terrorist acts when you tweet.

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