Saudi Arabia Issue A Fatwa Against Pokémon Go


News and discussion surrounding the new smart phone game ‘Pokémon Go’ has been unavoidable this last week or so, try as you might. For those living under a rock, it’s an ‘augmented reality’ game that allows you to use your phone’s GPS and camera to track and ‘catch’ little creatures (Pokémon) in real world environments.

During a moment of what I can only describe as ‘weakness’ I had a quick go on my lunch break the other day. I can’t begin to describe the shame of receiving disapproving glances from my colleagues who had also ventured outside to enjoy something even rarer than Pokémon – the sun. The worst part is, I can’t even walk and tweet anymore without people assuming I’m playing this game. “Oh, playing Pokémon are we?” They’d ask. “No, poking fun at religious people” I reply. Silence.

It’s easy to be snarky about the game and popular culture in general of course, but if people enjoy it and it gets them out of the house, then I’m all for it.

The launch of the game has not been without consequence however. Despite the warnings to be mindful of your surroundings when you launch the app, it seems a number of players have found themselves in a spot of bother.

From the man jumping into traffic to the individual crashing into a police car – further demonstrating that some apes shouldn’t be privileged with a phone smarter than they are.

But if you weren’t keen on Pokémon or the game before, I have the perfect reason as to why you should reconsider your position. Saudi Arabia have issued a Fatwa against it according to Sky News:

The edict warning the popular game was haram, or forbidden, was first issued in 2001 when it was played with cards. Now Muslim clerics have re-issued the ruling following the release of Pokémon GO for smart phones.

It warns the game includes triangular symbols related to Freemasonry and other symbols that promote the Islamic sin of Shirk, or worshipping any God other than Allah.

My suggestion to you is that if something annoys Islamists, then it must be worth doing. The game suddenly has greater appeal to me all of a sudden. I no longer think of it as silly and beneath me, I see it as openly haramming all over the place and sticking two fingers up at theocracy. It’s almost become a duty. I now have new plans for my lunch break. Happy hunting.

Stephen Knight is host of The #GSPodcast. You can listen to The Godless Spellchecker Podcast here, and support it by becoming a patron here.

One comment

  • We’ve got an excellent combined authoritarianism-lunacy-meter here. The Russian state and church authorities also think it’s from the devil and endangers the national safety. And the US preachers think Pokemons are demons.

    We only are waiting for Trumps opinion.

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