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Monday, 24 September, 2001, 16:06 GMT 17:06 UK
Toy shop bans Harry Potter
Harry Potter cast
The movie will be out in time for Christmas
A British toy shop chain is refusing to stock Harry Potter merchandise fearing it will attract children to the occult.

The owner of The Entertainer chain, Gary Grant, has banned the toys from his 28 outlets UK-wide, according to the Daily Telegraph.

JK Rowling
JK Rowling: The books are "very moral"
The toy shop owner's decision could end up costing his business as much as £500,000 as Harry Potter looks like being one of the top toys this Christmas.

Mr Grant, a Christian, told the Telegraph: "I am not happy to turn what is good reading into roleplay.

"My concern is that children start off with something quite innocent which can get out of hand.

"As a parent I do not want them drawn into ouija boards and the occult."

The film of the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, is released in the UK in November - just in time for the Christmas market.

The books have proved a huge phenomenon, with midnight openings for the release of each new title.

Toys in the range include costumes, figurines and board games.

Mr Grant's Christian values have also led him to stop stocking Halloween toys and other occult-themed toys.

Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter
Daniel Radcliffe plays the young magician in the upcoming film

His stance follows a primary school in Kent decision to ban all the Harry Potter books from classes, claiming they go against the teachings of the bible.

St Mary's Island Church of England Aided School in Chatham said the nature of the stories did not fit in with the school's "church ethos".

Some American states were also upset when the books were released, with parents saying they were unhappy at the way they depicted death, evil and hatred.

Author JK Rowling has hit back at complaints, saying the books were "very moral" in their representation of the struggle between good and evil.

See also:

29 Mar 00 | Education
School bans Harry Potter
21 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Coke and Harry Potter join forces
08 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Potter actors back after drugs scare
21 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Young Daniel gets Potter part
20 Mar 01 | Arts
From Medea to Muggle
22 Apr 01 | Scotland
Magician author's Potter gold
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