Karim Benzema was born and raised in Lyon, France.
Benzema comes from an Algerian Muslim family, and his uncle is apparently an imam in the village from where his grandfather emigrated. I couldn’t find any interviews where Benzema explicitly talked about his religion–maybe I could have found more if I spoke French. But it appears that he’s a devout Muslim.
He fasted during Ramadan, despite having to practice and play matches in the relentless heat of the Spanish summer. He was spotted at a mosque in Singapore. And he prays for his fellow athletes in need.
But some could argue that he doesn’t sound like the model Muslim. After all, he has a penchant for getting into trouble. He allegedly had sex with an underage prostitute. But hey, he claims he had no idea how young she was.
So maybe he’s not what everyone would call a complete model of religious piety in all his behaviors, but fasting during Ramadan with a schedule like that has to count for something, right? Feel free to debate in the comments.
I couldn’t find anything at all about Benzema’s opinion on political matters. I couldn’t even find evidence that he was involved in any charity work. So I’m left to pure speculation.
France isn’t known to be the most hospitable country to its immigrant Muslim population. Specifically, there was the 2004 law which banned the wearing of Muslim headscarves (and other religious symbols) in public places, which critics have called racist. One could imagine that Benzema, or at least some women in his family, could be directly affected by such laws. And one could also imagine that it probably pisses him off.
Let’s just call him non-political for now. If you have any tips, let us know in the comments.