Pokémon Go

It’s allegedly pro-evolution, promotes gambling, and contains symbols of “devious religions and organizations.”

Who knew a game about collecting creatures with names like “Squirtle” and “Jigglypuff” could be so religiously problematic?

And it is, deeply, in Saudi Arabia, where there’s a standing fatwa against all forms of Pokémon, including the wildly popular Pokémon Go. Reports Arab News:

The General Secretariat of the Council of Senior Scholars, on the website of the General Presidency for Scholarly Research and Ifta, has explicitly renewed the fatwa of the Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas banning the controversial mobile game.

The old fatwa (No. 21,758), issued 16 years ago in 2001, considered the game a form of gambling, which is forbidden in Islam.

Sheikh Saleh Al-Fozan, a member of the Council of Senior Scholars, said that the current version of the game is the same as the old one.

Diving into the text of the fatwa reveals all kinds of stuff you probably never knew about supposedly innocent Pokémon (although much of the language is clearly based on the original game and not the new mobile version). For instance, it’s full of pernicious wagering:

Two players compete with each other with a number of cards which have different values. The winner is the one who possesses the advantageous card which knocks out the less advantageous one. The loser, if he does not want to lose the card, may pay its value or the money required by the winner. This is one way of gambling done during Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic time of ignorance) when men used to gamble away their money and family, and if they lost the gambling, they would waive their money and family to the winner. Allah says in this regard, Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), and gambling, and Al-Ansâb, and Al-Azlâm (arrows for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination of Shaitan’s (Satan) handiwork.

Also bad is that the game is (allegedly) pro-Darwin. “Astonishingly, the children frequently use the word ‘evolution’ inside and outside the game,” asserts the fatwa. “You can hear them saying that this creature contained in the card has evolved to another form. They are fond of this evolution.”

And Pokémon can be seen as a platform for polytheism, as it’s full of symbols and logos of “devious religions and organizations.” Here’s more about that:

A- The six-pointed star: You rarely find a card that does not contain such a star. It is associated with Judaism, the logo and sign of the state of Israel, and the first symbol of the Masonry organizations in the world.

B- The cross: The game contains many forms of the cross which is the symbol of Christians.

C- The angles and triangles: These symbols have important meanings for many devious organizations; like Masonry.

D- Symbols of the Shinto creed: Shinto is a polytheistic religion that exists in Japan. The Japanese deify the sun, the earth and many plants and animals.


About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A vehicle goes by the scene of Sunday's fatality where a pedestrian was stuck by an Uber vehicle in autonomous mode, in Tempe, Arizona.

    Fatal Uber Crash Raises Red Flags About Self-Driving Safety

    After a woman in Tempe was killed by a self-driving Uber, local law enforcement was quick to absolve the company of blame. Transportation experts aren’t so sure.

  2. A woman at a homeless encampment in Anaheim, California

    The Unhappy States of America

    Even with the economy humming, Americans are feeling more anxious, depressed, and dissatisfied with their lives than they did in 2009.

  3. Life

    Amazon Go Might Kill More Than Just Supermarkets

    Supermarkets are community anchors. Amazon’s “just walk out” version embodies a disconcerting social transformation.

  4. Environment

    Resilience Trutherism, Explained

    There is a movement of people who believe that “climate resilience” is a Trojan horse for a global takeover of cities via weather manipulation, and a D.C. city council member may subscribe to that idea.

  5. Solutions

    In a Historic Downtown, Disaster Becomes a Chance to Build Something Better

    A 2014 fire in Clarkesville, Georgia, was “the worst nightmare for someone who’s in downtown development.” But the recovery launched an essential conversation about what the town square should be.