Pokémon GO has hit the world by storm to such a degree that it has caught the attention of a certain religious body.
Late last week, Abbas Shouman, the deputy chief of al-Azhar, the world’s foremost seat of Sunni Islamic learning, told news sources that the popular mobile Pokémon game, Pokémon GO, was “prohibited” by the Islamic faith. In a public statement, Shouman declared:
[Pokémon GO] negatively influences the mind and harms the player or other without being aware of that.
Shouman would go on to compare the app as the illicit equivalent to drinking alcohol, another substance that is considered forbidden in the Islamic faith. He continued by saying how people have become “obsessive” over the game, resulting in a diminishing of work quality and worship.
While the game has become an international hit – over 7 million downloads to date – this hasn’t been the first instance of an institution shunning the use of the app. The Israeli military has forbidden soldiers and staff from playing Pokémon GO on military base sites and embassies due to the chance of sensitive information leaked. Also, an Australian police station has gone on record sending a notice to it’s town constituents to stop walking into the station just to nab some items.
Pokémon GO is a mobile app for Android and iPhone that allows players to catch virtual Pokemon through real world map integration. Published by Japan’s Nintendo Co. Ltd. and built on Niantic’s gaming engine, Pokémon GO is currently available in the United States, Canada, most of Europe, Australia, and the recently announced 26 new countries. It is currently not available in Egypt to play.
What are your thoughts on the group’s stance on the Pokémon app? Do you think it’s justified? Let us know in the comments below!
Edited by Astinus and bobandbill