Saudi Arabia denies issuing fatwa against Pokemon Go

Senior Religious Scholars on Thursday denied that it had revived a 15-year-old edict that declared the Pokemon game un-Islamic.

Saudi media reports said on Wednesday the council’s General Secretariat had revived a 2001 fatwa against a Pokemon card game in response to queries from Muslims, although it made no mention of the new Pokemon GO mobile game. Users of the game walk around their real-life neighborhoods in search of scores of “pocket monsters”, which emerge superimposed on the phone screen via its camera. The 2001 fatwa said the card game contained elements prohibited by Islamic law such as gambling.

However, Saudi authorities said the social media reports were unfounded. “The Council of Senior Religious Scholars denied that it issued a new fatwa about the Pokemon game, and the media reports of that are not accurate,” said Abdulmohsen Alyas, undersecretary for international communication and media at the Ministry of Culture and Information. “We ask international media to call the ministry to verify information for their reports.” On its Twitter account, the council said no fatwa had been issued for the new Pokemon game.


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