Pokemon Go has gained a new enemy, as a group of prominent Saudi clerics have issued a fatwa, banning the game for "promoting gambling".
The renewed fatwa comes after the original banishment was issued in 2001, when the clerics claimed the card game promoted gambling. The renewal claims that the popular app also promotes gambling, while also promoting false gods and forbidden imagery.
Speaking about the fatwa against the game Dr. Khalifa Al-Makhrazi said, "It is prohibited because it is connected to things we are not aware of. It is connected to one's faith. This game is genuinely and directly linked to Charles Darwin's doctrine of Darwinism, to the theory of evolution and to the transmutation of the species, where a weak species transforms into a superior species. In our religion, this doctrine is forbidden. Therefore, Al-Azha issues a clear fatwa prohibiting playing this game."
Since its launch a few weeks ago, the Pokemon Go app has been downloaded millions of times, and there have been reports of large groups of people walking around outside attempting to catch the fictional monsters.
The app has been very controversial throughout the Middle East, as theories have also come out that the game is a way for foreign countries to spy on the region. Speaking to the Egyptian parliament, Defense Committee member Hambi Bakheet said, "Pokemon Go is the latest tool used by spy agencies in the intel war, a cunning despicable app that tries to infiltrate our communities in the most innocent way under the pretext of entertainment. But all they really want is to spy on people and the state."