Kuwaiti cleric says its haram for men and women to play video games together

Kuwaiti cleric says its haram for men and women to play video games together
A Kuwaiti cleric has caused controversy with a ruling prohibiting online gaming between men and women.
2 min read
09 January, 2019
Cleric Othman al-Khamees caused a stir on Twitter with the new edict [AFP]

A Kuwaiti Muslim cleric has caused a stir among gaming enthusiasts with a new ruling prohibiting men and women from playing online video games together.

In a recent sermon that has been shared widely on Twitter, well-known salafist cleric Dr Othman al-Khamees says that among the evils of online gaming is communication between the genders.

"Regarding electronic games that have recently become widespread, especially those where both men and women play against each other, and communicate through calls or messages during the game, they're prohibited. This isn't permissible in any way," al-Khamees says in response to a question from a follower. 

Al-Khamees, who last year ruled that women are prohibited from wearing trousers, added that games can also feature illicit images which would render them "haram" (religiously prohibited) for Muslims. 

On Twitter, many responded by ridiculing the al-Khamees' ruling.

"Do you have nothing else to issue rulings on?" wrote one Twitter user.

"This cleric's edicts are too much," wrote another.

Others, meanwhile, wrote in support of the cleric, saying that his ruling was in fact correct.

This is not the first time, however, that religious clerics have issued edicts against online video games.

Religious authorities in Erbil, Iraq, last year issued a fatwa against popular online game PUBG, saying that the game was making people "obsessed".

"We decided that working on PUBG is haram because it has caused a considerable number of people to be obsessed with it and waste their time," Irfan Rasheed, head of the fatwa committee in Sulaimani, told Rudaw at the time.