Saudis Renew Fatwa Against Pokemon

'Un-Islamic' game not welcome in kingdom
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2016 3:07 AM CDT
Updated Jul 21, 2016 5:31 AM CDT
Saudis Renew Fatwa Against Pokemon
Associated Press reporter Todd Richmond uses Charmander to battle Flareon in "Pokemon Go."   (AP Photo by Bryna Godar)

It didn't take a Pikachu poking his head up at the Kaaba for Saudi religious authorities to denounce Pokemon. The country's top religious authority has renewed a 2001 ban on the "un-Islamic" game, though it made no mention of the Pokemon Go augmented-reality game currently conquering the world, reports Reuters. Instead, the General Secretariat of the Council of Senior Religious Scholars repeated its objections to the Pokemon card game, including its resemblance to gambling, suggestions of polytheism and evolution, and symbols taken from Christianity, Shinto, Freemasonry, and "global Zionism." Pokemon Go hasn't officially been released in the kingdom, but it has been downloaded there many times and clerics say they reviewed their fatwa after receiving many questions about Pokemon, AFP reports. (These Pokemon Go players ended up falling off a cliff.)

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