Difference between revisions of "Pokémon in the Arab world"

In 2001, the {{wp|Grand Mufti}} of {{wp|Saudi Arabia}}, who is the highest religious authority isin the kingdom, issued a {{wp|fatwā}} banning the Pokémon franchise, claiming it encourages gambling and promotes {{wp|Zionism}}. High Muslim authorities in {{wp|Qatar}} and {{wp|Egypt}} then joined the ban. As this happened during the {{wp|second Intifada}}, a {{wp|Jordan}}ian newspaper printed a caricature of Israeli Prime Minister {{wp|Ariel Sharon}} sitting in a tank and laughing at an Arab man chasing a Pokémon. This is meant to convey that Arabs are distracted from their conflict with the Israelis by popular franchises, with Pokémon as an example of such "distractions."
Despite the initial banning, which quickly wiped away Pokémon merchandise, especially the card game, from markets in Saudi Arabia, Pokémon video games quickly returned to be sold normally, but under much less demand from local consumers. Some Pokémon merchandise, such as the [[Expedition Base Set]] reappeared in certain stores a few years later, but newer sets were never brought. [[Generation III]] and [[Generation IV]] games seem completely unaffected by the ban.