Published On: Thu, Jul 21st, 2016

Pokemon GO declared haram by Saudi cleric body

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Saudi Arabia’s apex religious body has renewed a 15-year-old proclamation that the Pokemon game franchise is un-Islamic, Saudi media stated on Wednesday, though the fatwa made no talk about the thriving novel Pokemon GO mobile game.

Pokémon Go is a free-to-play location-based augmented reality mobile game developed by Niantic for iOS and Android devices. It was released in most regions of the world in July 2016. Making use of GPS and the camera of compatible devices, the game allows players to capture, battle, and train virtual creatures, called Pokémon, who appear on device screens as though in the real world. The game is free to play, although it supports in-app purchases of additional gameplay items.

This amplified reality app, in which players walk across real-life neighborhoods to chase and grasp virtual cartoon characters on their smartphone screens, has turned an immediate hit across the globe.

The General Secretariat of the Council of Senior Religious Scholars stated that it had rejuvenated a 2001 verdict in opposition to a Pokemon card game in reaction to questions from believers.

The Council stated that the transformations of the creatures in the game, which are provided particular powers, sum to blasphemy by endorsing the theory of natural development.

The fatwa stated “It is shocking that the word ‘evolution’ has been much on the tongues of children,”

In addition, it stated that the game holds other elements forbidden by Islamic law, involving “polytheism against God by multiplying the number of deities, and gambling, which God has forbidden in the Quran and likened to wine and idols”.

The fatwa further stated that signs employed in the game endorsed Japan’s Shinto religion, Christianity, Freemasonry and “global Zionism”.

In traditional Saudi Arabia, which is home to Islam’s two holiest sites, cinemas are banned and women’s sports are discouraged as endorsing sin.

The pre-Islamic epoch is discharged as the age of ignorance and its relics are deemed irreligious, and a few clerics even see patriotism as equivalent to idolatry.

Consumers of the game walk across their real-life neighborhoods in quest of scores of “pocket monsters”, which come out placed over on the phone screen through the camera.

Middle Eastern states are over and over again cautious of social media use by their rising youth populace, and authorities in Kuwait and Egypt have previously advised that players may be persuaded to point their smartphones at banned areas for example royal palaces, mosques, oil facilities or military bases.

About the Author

Sidra Muntaha

- Sidra Tul Muntaha is a journalist (MA-Mass Communication and M.Phil in Mass Communication) based in Lahore. She is working as an editor at fashion, style and entertainment in the section of the Kooza. She writes fashion and entertainment articles for The Kooza News.

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