Religious authorities in Saudi Arabia have renewed a 16-year-old fatwa against the hit augmented reality game Pokemon Go.
On the website of the General Presidency for Scholarly Research and Ifta, the General Secretariat of the Council of Senior Scholars has strictly renewed the fatwa. It was mentioned on the site that the Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas had reissued the ban on the controversial mobile game, said Arab News.
It was 16 years ago when the old fatwa No. 21,758 was issued. The old fatwa considered the game to be a form of gambling, which is forbidden in Islam. According to the English language Saudi newspaper, the religious council of Saudi Arabia has renewed the fatwa on the context that the latest version of the game is the same as the old one.
The fatwa talked about other prohibitions in the game. These include polytheism and the faith in and worship of many gods.
The ban also corresponds to promotion and advertising of disbelief, logos, banned images, and other warnings.
The news of the prohibition of Pokemon Go came along with reports of three Saudi men who were arrested at King Abdullah airport in Jeddah. They were taken into police custody as they were playing the controversial game on their smartphones.
According to Fortune, the three men were taken for interrogation on Monday evening. The three men were arrested for using their cameras in a restricted area of the airport.
The old fatwa mentioned a number of prohibitions to justify the ban on the game. The major cause was gambling practices, as two of the players compete to win cards that hold different prices. The player who would have the stronger position among the two would win the card. To keep the card, the other player must pay a price.
On Tuesday, Indonesian police also arrested a French Pokemon Go player for roaming around a military complex in Cirebon.