According to Saudi authorities, Pokemon are baffling, time-consuming and even "psychologically unhealthy" for children, but now, there's a new charge levied against Pokémon games and cards: un-Islamic.
Saudi Arabian authorities have decreed that there's no place for the imaginary, superpowered creatures that make up the Pokémon universe in the Islamic state. The country's highest religious authority issued a fatwa against Pokémon cards and games.
Accusing the immensely popular game of "possessing the minds" of children while promoting Zionism and gambling, Saudi Arabia's Higher Committee for Scientific Research and Islamic Law issued the fatwa, or religious verdict, against the Pokemon franchise.
Bans against the Pokémon cards and games stretch across many schools in the United States, Britain and Mexico, to name a few. Last year, Turkish authorities ordered a television channel to stop airing the Pokémon cartoon series after two children leaped from balconies, allegedly believing they had superhuman powers. Both children survived.
Another concern among Saudi authorities is the fear that the craze might involve gambling, which is forbidden under Islamic law. Pokémon has evolved into a complex card game that requires children to trade cards based on a boggling calculation of points.
Another matter of concern is the Pokemon game phenomenon, in which children spent countless hours "evolving" and capturing the elusive monster, which detracts young minds from their daily life and ignoring their duties just to keep playing, which is a clear sign of serious video game addiction.