Pokemon no ‘Go’ areas in Kuwait

KUWAIT CITY, July 15, (Agencies): Kuwait is saying “no” to “Pokemon Go” in certain places.

The Interior Ministry issued a statement Friday warning users of the smash mobile phone application from taking pictures of any vital government, military or security location.

It also warned users not to pounce on Pikachus or chase Charmanders at mosques, shopping centers, malls and oil installations.

Ministry Undersecretary Lt Gen Sulaiman Al-Fahad noted in a press statement that all vital government, military, and security locations are off limits to users of the Pokemon Go game, warning that those who violate this order from the Ministry will have the law to answer for and will be promptly prosecuted.

Among other vital locations are mosques, shopping centers and malls and oil installations, he said, adding that users of the game who ostensibly take photos of these locations claiming unawareness of the law prohibiting that will be prosecuted and turned over to a court of law. No excuses will be accepted by anyone claiming ignorance of the law, he stressed.

He further said that security personnel are under strict instructions to haul in anyone breaking the law through the use of Pokemon Go.

Meanwhile, several Islamic doctrines and authorities have unanimously agreed that the game ‘Pokeman Go’ is comical and atheistic in nature, declaring the game as “Haram” (forbidden), reports Al-Seyassah daily quoting an informed source.

He said these Islamic authorities that used to take contradicting positions in the past adopted a common stance for the first time regarding this game, which has once again taken center stage of concern among the Arab and Islamic circles several years after an old cartoon series based on the ‘Pokemon’ character sparked social, political and religious reactions.

The source declared that Arabs and Muslims regard this new game as a conspiracy against Islam and Arabs, forgetting that it is widespread in most countries across the globe.

He revealed that the Arabs who play this game constitute no more than four percent of the players globally.

The source explained that a leading cleric of the Muslim Brotherhood Group Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradawi issued a fatwa (Islamic edict) to forbid this game. He based his decision on the assertion that the game implies danger on the Islamic faith, as it entails adoption of Darwin ideology, which is famous for the theory of evolution, and growth and development of species from inferior creatures into more capable and superior creatures. Al-Qaradawi also insists that the game can have dangerous psychological impacts on the mindset of children and their upbringing because it can imbibe in them nonexistent and unusual imaginations and thoughts that are not in tandem with the universal divine norms.

According to the Director of Al-Azhar University Dr Abbas Shoman, the game makes people look like drunkards on the roads.

He posited that the game could deceive children to the extent that they will start believing in it.

Dr Shoman wondered what has happened to the intelligence of adults who follow the illusion to such an extent that somebody hit a car due to his inattentiveness over the movement of vehicles.

Leadership of the Salafist Movement in Egypt, represented by the renowned cleric Sameh Abdulhameed, also agreed to the decision that the game ‘Pokeman Go’ is “Haram” (forbidden).

He said those who play the game are encouraged to search for corrupt beliefs, ethics and behaviors, declaring that it is a new form of brainwashing children, considering its effects on their mentalities.

The United Arab Emirates warned on Friday that criminals could exploit users of the smash hit virtual reality Pokemon Go game and other apps to hack their phones and spy on their movements.

The warning comes after Australian police said that a couple playing Pokemon Go were threatened at gunpoint in a park south of Sydney and blamed the game for a wave of crimes, traffic violations and complaints.

The wildly popular mobile app, which is based on a 1990s Nintendo game, has created a global frenzy as players roam the real world looking for cartoon monsters.

The game requires the phone to transmit its location via GPS and uses its camera which the UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority warned “violates the user’s privacy” and could lead “criminals” to spread viruses.

The TRA said Pokemon Go could result in users being spied upon and urged players not to activate their phone cameras at home or in other private areas.

Pokemon Go works in the UAE but cannot yet be downloaded from local app stores.

The National daily reported this week a warning from Abu Dhabi police of the dangers of using mobile apps while walking in the city.

The TRA said that it is still “reviewing the effects and dangers that … these games and apps have on society” before making a decision on whether to release Pokemon Go locally.

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