Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema has been accused of having ties with a terrorist group by the French Interior Minister. AFP / FRANCK FIFE

On Tuesday, French football star Karim Benzema was accused of having terrorist ties by French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin. Despite being faced with possible legal action from the footballer's team, Darmanin has refused to back down and has even elaborated on why he feels that Benzema's actions reflect the agenda of The Muslim Brotherhood.

Following his CNews Network interview wherein he first accused Benzema of having "notorious ties" with the terrorist group, Darmanin expounded on those claims in another interview this time with RMC Sport on Thursday.

"Mr. Benzema is a great footballer, followed by millions of people. I've noticed that he still hasn't tweeted about the murder of that teacher in Arras, nor has he tweeted about the beheaded babies, the raped women, the 1,300 massacred by Islamic terrorists in Israel," said the French Interior Minister.

He was referring to the Ballon d'Or winner's recent tweet, wherein he spoke about the conflict sparked by the recent attack of Hamas militants on Israeli civilians and the subsequent retaliation by the Israel Defense Forces.

"All our prayers for the inhabitants of Gaza who are once again victims of these unjust bombings which spare no women or children," said Benzema, without sparing a word for at least 1,400 civilians who were brutally murdered in Israel and almost 200 more who were taken hostage by Hamas and taken into Gaza.

Darmanin then pointed out how these words coming from a prominent public figure could advance the terrorist ideals. "Terrorism is very insidious. It consists of using all the means of society – sports, music, influence on the Internet – to promote Islam," he said.

The minister then pointed out how selective Benzema was when he spoke about the issue, while conveniently failing to condemn crimes and terrorist actions by others of Islamic faith.

"I would love for Mr. Benzema to tweet about the murder of the professor in Arras. He is known for an extremely regorist Islam, with links, unfortunately, to people who have sometimes rejoiced at the murder of Samuel Paty, for example," he added, pointing to the recent stabbing of a French school teacher (Arras) and the murder of another (Paty), who was beheaded in Éragny-sur-Oise, a suburb of Paris, France, by an Islamic terrorist in October 2020.

"We cannot be selective in our indignation. That is what 'Frerism' is all about, unfortunately using selective messages in an insidious way, being able to show that through sport, music and society there is something different from radicalisation in a place of worship," he said.

The minister continued to slam Benzema for tweeting about the plight of the Palestinian civilians but not of other innocent victims of the conflict. "Mr. Benzema is French, but I have the right to fight the idea that when you tweet about Palestinian civilians, it's extremely surprising not to tweet about the 1,300 dead in Israel and not to tweet about the professor's murder. You'll see that this selectivity raises questions."

He then boldly claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood is using the opportunity through Benzema to "convey a profoundly anti-French message".

Benzema's team considers legal action

Meanwhile, Benzema, who now plays for Saudi Pro League side Al-Ittihad, has not spoken publicly about the accusations. However, it is understood that his lawyer, Hugues Vigier, has denied the allegations of his links to a terrorist organisation. The footballer's team has also threatened legal action against the minister for defamation.

"This is false. He has never had the slightest relationship with this organisation. We are considering initiating proceedings against this minister (Darmanin) under the law on manipulation of information, which is so dear to our government," he said.

In response, Darmanin said: "The complaint filed by his lawyers? It's a judicial indictment. I will leave the answer to the courts."