A Toronto area Sikh man says his life has been put at risk after a photoshopped image of him was circulated identifying him as one of the Paris terrorists.
The photo, originally of Veerender Jubbal posing with an iPad, was altered to add a suicide vest and Qur’an.
That image quickly went viral, and was picked up by a number of media outlets, including Spanish newspaper La Razon, which published the image on it’s cover, naming Jubbal as one of the terrorists. The publication has since apologized.
Overwhelmed by a wave of online interest and anger, Jubbal took to Twitter to try refute the images. He says millions of people have seen the images in countries around the world, and he believes the situation could put him in danger. He also indicated he may sue.
In gauging this entire incident--millions upon millions of people have seen the photoshopped images, and have placed me as a terrorist.— Veerender Jubbal (@Veeren_Jubbal) November 15, 2015
Well, just got a phone call from a cousin in India, and they know about it; and saw the whole thing in India Times. We might sue, I guess.— Veerender Jubbal (@Veeren_Jubbal) November 15, 2015
While it is still unclear who doctored the image, Jubbal has suggested it might have been people affiliated with the online GamerGate movement.
The Toronto area writer and games critic has been active online opposing the group, which has been accused of harassment and misogynistic online attacks.
Gamers are absolute garbage like I have been saying for a full year. People will not stop harassing, and bothering me. I am cute as gosh.
— Veerender Jubbal (@Veeren_Jubbal) November 14, 2015
Jubbal couldn’t be reached for comment on this story, but has issued a statement through the Sikh Coalition demanding that media outlets who published the images retract them and apologize.
He also addressed the issue of racism, and the frequency with which Sikhs are mistakenly associated with terrorism.
The broader impact of this image going viral for the Sikh community is what upsets me the most. Sikh articles of faith, such as our turbans and beards, represent a commitment to universal justice, equality, and helping others (seva), yet Sikhs continue to be mistakenly and offensively associated with terrorist networks abroad.