A Saudi Islamic scholar has stated that Pokémon Go, which is hugely popular in the US, is un-Islamic and Muslims should not play the game.
This is not the first instance when Pokémon came under the scanner of Muslim clerics. In 2001, Pokémon cards and video games were banned after been considered un-Islamic. The Muslim clerics have just renewed a longstanding fatwa against the Pokémon franchise. The clerics stated that the game encourages gambling, uses devious signals and promotes evolution and polytheism.
What this means is that Saudi Arabia won’t be seeing the launch of Pokémon Go anytime soon as a result of the fatwa issued against it. The clerics pointed out that the game promotes other religions by citing the example of a six-pointed star in the game said to be linked to the state of Israel. They also stated triangular symbols featured throughout the franchise’s imagery hold significance for Freemasons. They added the game carries symbols of Christian crosses, and symbols from Japan’s native Shinto religion. Pokémon Go has become quite popular in the Middle East already, though the app has not seen an official release in the region, Telegraph has reported.
Although Pokémon Go is not yet officially launched in ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia, people residing in the country have illegally downloaded the game app and started hunting for Pokémons.
Pokémon Go has captured the imagination of the masses in America. The augmented-reality game, which is based on a 1996 Nintendo game, has garnered global fame. The objective is to collect as many Pokémons as possible. Players roam the real world looking for cartoon monsters. The game app, Pokémon Go, is currently available in the following countries: