Sikh Portrayed as Paris Terrorist, Media Fooled
Social media and news outlets were quick to make the doctored image go viral
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2015 4:02 PM CST
The image of Veerender Jubbal on the right was shared in August. A photoshopped version of the image, left, went viral in the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks.   (Twitter)

(Newser) – “Let us start with the basics,” Veerender Jubbal tweeted. “Never been to Paris. Am a Sikh dude with a turban. Lives in Canada.” The message was in response to a doctored image of Jubbal that went viral after Friday’s terror attacks in Paris, the Mary Sue reports. Shared by Jubbal earlier this year, the original selfie shows a smiling Jubbal holding an iPad. The altered version portrays him as one of the Paris terrorists, wearing a bomb-laden vest and holding what looks like a religious text. The image quickly spread across social media and was even picked up by news organizations, the Guardian reports. Spanish newspaper La Razón, which has since apologized, ran a cropped version of the photo; the caption erroneously identified Jubbal as “one of the terrorists.”

In a statement, Jubbal noted that Sikhs often face "violence and discrimination" after terrorist attacks because of their turbans and beards. “We must be better than this,” he wrote, imploring media outlets to apologize and “take the time to learn and educate their readers about the Sikh faith, the fifth largest religion in the world.” It is not known who altered the photo, according to the Guardian. But some media outlets, such as BuzzFeed, pointed out that the image contained plenty of hints that it was not legitimate, such as Jubbal’s Sikh turban and the North American power outlets. Jubbal suspects someone involved in Gamergate—a controversy involving misogyny, harassment, and gaming journalism—may be responsible, the BBC reports. In the past, he has drawn the ire of Gamergaters for his criticism of the state of gaming.