Controversy in France after the statements of the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, who accused the footballer Karin Benzema to have links with Muslim Brothers, an Islamist organization considered terrorist in Egypt, its place of creation, and other countries such as Saudi Arabia, where the former Real Madrid forward currently plays. The player has responded by denying the accusations and, according to Le Parisien, He is considering denouncing the minister.
“Mr. Benzema has links, everyone knows it, it is notorious, with the Muslim Brotherhood,” Darmanin said on Monday night on the Cnews television channel. The minister had previously been asked about the message that the footballer had posted on social networks in support of the Palestinian people after Israel’s incessant and indiscriminate bombings against Gaza.
Darmanin considered that players of Benzema’s fame “have a responsibility” and influence on the youth that could have led him to be more even-handed, in reference to his silence on the Hamas attacks. But it was later, when he responded to a question about the actions of his Government to counter jihadist terrorism in French territorywhen Darmanin launched his accusation against the footballer.
“For weeks I have been particularly interested (…) in the Muslim Brotherhood,” said the minister, who at that time alluded to Benzema’s alleged links with the Islamist group. After the commotion caused by his statements, this Wednesday sources from the Ministry of the Interior justified the accusation launched by Darmanin in several actions of the player that, in their opinion, constitute “a drift towards a hard, rigorous Islam, characteristic of the ideology” of the Muslim Brotherhood “which consists of spreading Islamic norms in different spaces of society, especially in sports.”
Origin of the Muslim Brotherhood
The Muslim Brotherhood Society was founded in 1928 in an Egypt still under the mandate of the United Kingdom. At that time, the country experienced the creation of many fundamentalist nationalist and fundamentalist religious movements that often competed with each other.
The organization constitutes a Sunni religious current that is guided by the Koran and suna (tradition), the usual behavior that Muslims have observed since the time of the prophet in the 7th century. A few years after its founding, the brotherhood began to have political aspirations. The Muslim Brotherhood has significantly influenced politics and has been very active among youth, particularly in universities.
In fact, with Mohamed Mursi at the helm, they governed Egypt after the Egyptian revolution, during the Arab Spring protests, which ended with the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in 2011. The Executive barely lasted from June 2012 to July 2013. After months of protests, the coup d’état of 2013 ousted Mursi from power. The new military authorities carried out harsh repression against the members of the brotherhood, which ended up being outlawed along with the rest of its satellite organizations.
Internalization of the brotherhood
Since the 1940s, the Muslim Brotherhood sowed the Islamist seed in a large number of Islamic countries. An offshoot of the Egyptian organization is, for example, Hamaswho founded in Gaza in 1987 a group of young Palestinians who had trained at the universities of Cairo and who, upon completing their studies, returned to the Palestinian strip influenced by the thought and action they observed in the Muslim Brotherhood.
Originally a fundamentalist group, the Muslim Brotherhood has given rise to a large number of splits, including some violent who seek the application of Islamic law (sharia) in Islamic countries. But it is also an organization with a large social base that has opted for a non-violent methodology.
The commotion caused in France by the words of the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, has been such that conservative profiles such as Senator Valérie Boyer have taken advantage of to request that Benzema’s French nationality be withdrawn. “If the minister’s statements are confirmed, we have to consider sanctions. A symbolic sanction would first be to withdraw the Ballon d’Or. Then, we have to ask that his nationality be withdrawn,” said the legislator. As with the minister, the footballer is also considering filing a complaint against the senator.