Pokémon is 'un-Islamic': Saudi Arabia issues Fatwa on card game, but Pokémon GO not prohibited for Muslims yet

Saudi Arabia media reported Wednesday that the country's General Secretariat of the Council of Senior Religious Scholars revived a 15-year-old Fatwa against "Pokémon" which it deemed un-Islamic.

However, the state immediately clarified the following day that the Fatwa extended only to "Pokémon" card games as some Muslims raised concerns about them and that the clerical body did not make any mention of the viral mobile game "Pokémon GO."

(Reuters/Iqro Rinaldi)People play the mobile phone game Pokemon GO in a park in Central Jakarta, Indonesia July 21, 2016.

"The Council of Senior Religious Scholars denied that it issued a new fatwa about the Pokemon game, and the media reports of that are not accurate," said undersecretary for international communication and media at the Ministry of Culture and Information, Abdulmohsen Alyas, as reported by Reuters.

Saudi authorities lambasted the erroneous reports.

"We ask international media to call the ministry to verify information for their reports," said Alyas.

According to Al Jazeera, Yusuf al-Qaradawi's 2001 Fatwa denounced "Pokémon" characters and its card games as "un-Islamic" as it promoted Zionism and gambling, among others.

The state's religious bodies indicated a united stance against the Japanese franchise as Saudi Arabia's mufti or high priest, Sheik Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah al-Sheik, also warned parents about the dangers of the game.

(Pokemon official site)'Pokemon Go' logo.

"Most of the cards figure six-pointed stars, a symbol of international Zionism and the state of Israel," the high priest said on Al Jazeera TV, as reported by ABC News.

Although the Fatwa still does not clamp down on the augmented reality game, it won't be unlikely should the conservative kingdom also decide to rule against "Pokémon GO."

"Pokémon has possessed the minds of a large chunk of our students, captivated their hearts and became their preoccupation," said a statement from the edict. "[They] spend all their money to buy the cards and compete with each other to win more."

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