Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Virgin's recommendations in its Doha store. Charlie Gandelman
Virgin's recommendations in its Doha store. Charlie Gandelman

Virgin 'recommendation' of Mein Kampf in Doha sparks Twitter fury

Twitter users have created a social media backlash after Virgin Megastore recommended Mein Kampf to Arabic readers in Qatar.

Megastore responds after online outrage over Hitler's book

Rory Jones and Scott Armstrong

Virgin Megastore has pulled Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf from its recommended reads in its Qatar store after a social media backlash on Twitter.

The music, entertainment and media retailer is under fire as pictures have been circling the internet of a "Virgin Recommends" bookshelf plugging Mein Kampf for sale and published in Arabic.

Virgin recommended the book in its store in the Landmark Shopping Centre in Doha. It has since taken it off the promotional shelves.

Charlie Gandelman took the picture and then posted it on Twitter after he was alerted to it by his friend Anna Peregrini.

"My friend was very shocked and sent a very passionate email to Virgin but got no response," Mr Gandelman said. "I have seen this book on sale before but to have it in the recommended section of an international British brand associated with [Sir] Richard Branson is surprising.

"After Anna got no response from the company I posted it on Twitter to see where it would go."

Ms Peregrini, who also lives in Qatar, was equally concerned. "It is one thing for this to be on sale, I do not believe in censorship, but to be promoted in this way crosses a line. "This isn't a specialist history bookshop, it only has a small number of such titles on sale, so the fact it has been chosen says something, but to be recommended in this way is shocking," she said.

"To start with, I gave [Sir] Richard the benefit of the doubt, I'm sure this would not be something he would know about, but to write and then receive no response from the company is disappointing, which is why we tweeted it. "This is a store which sells to the younger generation, is the store saying this book is cool?" she said.

Followers on Twitter soon picked up on the story and started commenting.

"It has come to this! Virgin Megastore in Qatar recommends Hitler's Mein Kampf to its Arab readers," a tweeter posted yesterday.

The book was first published in 1925 and charts the Nazi leader's increasing anti-Semitic views and hatred of both communism and Judaism.

"Mein Kampf recommended reading in Virgin Qatar @richardbranson," said another tweet.

Other Twitter users also berated Sir Richard, the founder of Virgin Megastores on his own Twitter account.

"Please say it isn't so @[Sir] RichardBranson Virgin Megastores recommending Mein Kampf in Arabic," said another Twitter post.

"Each Virgin Megastore in the Middle East is responsible for the merchandising of products within its respective store and is not merchandised via a planogram from headquarters," Virgin said.

"Recently, one of the region's Virgin Megastores included in its book section the Arabic translation of Mein Kampf, by Adolf Hitler, a title available worldwide in major bookstores and online.

"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 company said.

"In response to a customer, we removed the title from the display. Commentary in the public domain was also taken seriously by Virgin Megastore and our policy is always to listen and respond immediately."

Virgin is the second Middle East retailer to come under fire on Twitter on consecutive days after shoppers began boycotting MH Alshaya stores over the company's new policy on refunds.



Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 The Greens, villas: Q1 no change. 3BR - Dh210-250,000. 4BR - Dh210-260,000. 5BR - Dh220-300,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 5% rise. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Dubai have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

 The cooling towers of the Temelin nuclear power plant near the Tyn nad Vltavou in Czech Republic. The country wants to continue expanding nuclear energy capacity despite cancelling a tender to build two new units. David W Cerny / Reuters

In pictures: Best business images for the week to April 17, 2014

Here are some of the best business images for the week to April 17, 2014.

 Three generations of the Hakimi family tend to their stall Crawford Market in Mumbai. Subhash Sharma for The National

In pictures: Shopper’s delight at Crawford Market in Mumbai

Crawford Market is an old British-style covered market dealing in just about every kind of fresh food and domestic animal imaginable. Later on renamed Mahatma Jotirao Phule, the market remains popular among locals and visitors by its old name, taken from Arthur Crawford who was the first municipal commissioner of the city.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National