Saudi Clerics Say Pokémon Go Violates Islamic Beliefs
Emma Ockerman 11:15 AM ET
Saudi Arabia’s top clerics have issued a fatwa against the game
Saudi Arabia’s top clerics have renewed a 2001 fatwa against Pokémon, following the release of the mobile application Pokémon Go, saying the globally-popular game violates Islamic bans on gambling and “forbidden images.”
The edict, issued by the General Secretariat of the Council of Senior Scholars, essentially declares that the newer version of the game should be viewed similarly to its trading cards, USA Today reports. Earlier this year, chess was forbidden in Saudi Arabia for similar reasons.
The Pokémon fatwa follows Kuwait’s Interior Ministry warning Pokémon fanatics last week to avoid playing the augmented reality video game at mosques, shopping centers, malls and oil installations. In Egypt, Hamdi Bakheet, a member of the committee of defense and national security, said the game might be used for espionage by Egypt’s enemies, the Times ofIsrael reports.