News and views Sunday 12th of October 2014: Buying into terror.

Shopping to many isn’t an opportunity to consider their moral choices, not unless they’re avoiding the beef counter owing to their vegetarianism, or perhaps dodging the many halal friendly businesses because they’d sooner not eat food that’s been blessed in the name of Allah (Mohammed’s false idol.) Nevertheless, protesters due having been outraged by what appears an unending string of public executions have decided to do something concerning their shopping habits, they’ve resolved to boycott the company they believe at fault for fuelling much of the carnage that’s destroying the lives of innocent people across the world, thus they’ve got Harrods firmly in their sights.

harrods_building_nw230510_1To fund terrorism or not to fund terrorism, that’s the question which many shoppers of Harrods are being confronted with nowadays. Which to me isn’t much of an ordeal to decide over, as I’d sooner take my custom elsewhere, rather than fund the murder of Christians, Britons and Americans overseas. But that’s just me, some find that new designer bag just too darn tempting, they’re willing to die for it, or at least have someone else killed in their place so to have it.

― T. C. M

Customers of Harrods are being urged to boycott the department store in a symbolic protest against its Qatari owners. Qatar, which bought Harrods in 2010, has been accused of either directly funding terrorist groups or turning a blind eye to financiers operating out of the Gulf state. It is now facing a backlash from protesters sickened by the executions of Western hostages in Syria and the violence wreaked on the region by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil), al-Qaeda and other offshoot terror groups. Harrods was sold by Mohamed Al Fayed, its previous owner, to Qatar Holdings, part of the Qatar Investment Authority, the state’s sovereign wealth fund, in May 2010 for a reported £1.5 billion. The sale was concluded by Qatar’s then prime minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al Thani, who was also chief executive of the wealth fund.

Under his rule, Qatar also owns or co-owns a number of other landmarks including the Shard, Europe’s tallest skyscraper, as well as large stakes in some major UK businesses. Now Harrods is facing a boycott as a consequence of criticism of Qatar’s links to Islamist terrorists. Mark Lewis, the solicitor who represented the family of Milly Dowler among others in the News of the World phone hacking scandal, is leading calls for a boycott. Mr Lewis said: “We can stand back and do nothing, but when we do, we are paying for that terror … People need to know where their money is going.” He added: “While people know very little about Qatar, its wealth has bought some of the crown jewels of English property. It owns the Shard, it owns Harrods, it might as well own our morals. (Continue reading here.)

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