GUARDIAN (UK) – Saudi Arabia’s top clerical body has revived a 2001 religious edict prohibiting Pokémon in response to public calls for guidance on the newly launched smartphone version of the game.
The augmented-reality game Pokémon Go, which is based on a 1996 Nintendo game, has created a global frenzy as players roam the real world looking for cartoon monsters.
Although Pokémon Go is not yet being officially available in ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia, many have downloaded it illegally and have started hunting for virtual “pocket monsters”.
The kingdom’s Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta said in its latest announcement on its website that it has republished a 2001 edict on the game after “receiving many questions” on it from the public.
The 15-year-old fatwa said the game was too much like gambling and that the concept of its characters appeared to be based on Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, which is rejected by Islam.