This is simply ridiculous.
Not one, but two Islamic authorities have issued “fatwas”, or religious based rulings on the game of Pokemon.
Pokemon is against Islam says leaders
Renewed 15 year fatwa against the game in Saudi Arabia
New game not yet released in Egypt, but decree declared nonetheless
Both Saudi and Egyptian Islamic leaders have ruled against the game with a decree, which is known as a “fatwa”.
In 2001, the General Secretariat of the Council of Senior Religious Scholars issued a decree about the game after inquiries from believers.
The religious authority declared the game as blasphemous, as the creatures evolve and mutate. In the Council’s opinion, this endorsed the theory of natural evolution, which Islam rejects. This stance was reiterated this year, 15 years later as Pokemon has again become an international phenomenon with the introduction of Pokemon Go.
Additionally, religious leaders in Egypt issued a fatwa against the game for two entirely different reasons:
- National security
- It is bad for the public health
Lets look into these two:
This one makes sense. Since the game tracks movements and also uses augmented reality, which allows video and photos to be transmitted, the Egyptian authorities are concerned that the game will be used by spies to collect data about sensitive security sites in Egypt. They have proposed using cell phone jammers at these sites to prevent this.
Bad for the Public Health
According to Abbas Shouman, the deputy chief of al-Azhar, an Islamic University in Cairo and one of the most prestigous and respected Sunni Islam education institutes, compared the game to drinking alcohol, which is forbidden by Islam.
Yes, Shouman compared the game to alcohol, saying “It negatively influences the mind and harms the player or others without being aware of that.”
He said that players become distracted and their inattentiveness could lead to any number of issues.
It is hard to disagree with him, after this week, when two men almost died when they walked off a cliff in California while playing.
Additionally, a video emerged the other day, showing a driver who was playing Pokemon while driving, and slammed into a Baltimore Police car. No one was hurt, but the driver said “this is what I get for playing this dumb a** game”.
Pokemon Go is a game that is quickly becoming an international sensation, and has earned a ridiculous amount of money for Nintendo. Despite holding a minority stake in the game compared the Niantic, Nintendo is the face of Pokemon, and the game has certainly led to fortune for them, as their stock price has DOUBLED in the two weeks since the games release. The game has added more than 15 Billion dollars to the value of Nintendo.
The game is not yet available in every country, and there are doubts whether the game will ever be available in South Korea, as reported last week by Globalo.