Islamic scholars have issued a ruling, banning the Pokemon GO smartphone app, following concerns that it promotes the worship of any God other than Allah.
Saudi Arabia’s General Secretariat of the Council of Senior Scholars has renewed a fatwa on Pokemon because it violates Islamic laws on gambling and utilises images associated with other religions like Christianity and Judaism.
The fatwa was first issued in 2001 when the game was played with cards. But following the release of the new smartphone app, Pokemon GO, Muslim clerics have re-issued the ruling.
The edict warns that the game includes triangular symbols related to Freemasonry and other symbols that promote the Islamic sin of Shirk – the worshipping of any God other than Allah.
In the game, players walk the streets to find virtual cartoon or Pokemon characters that appear on their smartphone screens, but the decree warns that parents may be using the game to punish and reward their children.
There are also fears the game promotes gambling, which is also forbidden under Islamic law.