Qatar’s Virgin Megastores pulls Mein Kampf after backlash

Store had ‘recommended’ Hitler’s book but backtracked after Twitter outrage
Qatar’s Virgin Megastores pulls Mein Kampf after backlash
Virgin Megastores said the book had been removed after complaints
By Shane McGinley
Tue 06 Dec 2011 04:22 PM

A Virgin Megastores outlet in Qatar has pulled the Arabic translation of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf from its recommended reading shelf after it sparked a backlash on Twitter.

The retailer was blasted after a Twitter user posted a picture on the social network of the book in the store’s branch in Landmark Shopping Centre in Qatar.

"Mein Kampf's next stop: Oprah's Book Club," said US executive Charles Gandelman.

"I have seen it being sold in places everywhere, and that's not objectionable," he said later. "But I thought it was quite shocking to see Adolf Hitler's manifesto promoted in a British branded store like this.

Virgin Megastores said in a statement that individual stores chose the books promoted on recommended reading shelves, but said Mein Kampf had been removed from the section.

“For one day, the book was included in the recommended section. The recommended tag was not an endorsement of the book's author or its content,” the statement said.

“In response to a customer, we removed the title from the display.”

Mein Kampf was written by Adolf Hitler while serving a jail sentence in the 1920s, Sale of the book is restricted in Germany and Austria, but it is freely sold elsewhere around the world.

“Does Richard Branson know that Virgin bookstore in Doha has been recommending Mein Kampf in Arabic as a must buy to shoppers?” one poster DenisMacShane asked.

Virgin Megastores is no longer part of Richard Branson's Virgin Group after the worldwide divisions were sold in 2001. The Middle East outlets are operated by Beirut’s Azadea Group.

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