A writer from Brampton, Canada, whose selfie appeared online after being photoshopped to make him look like a terrorist, has denied he had anything to do with the attacks in Paris Nov. 13.
Veerender Jubbal’s picture was altered to make it look as though he was holding a Koran instead of an iPad, and wearing a suicide vest, CTV News reported.
The image was picked up online shortly after the Nov. 13 attacks, and a Spanish newspaper even printed Jubbal’s picture on its front page, claiming that he was one of the terrorists.
“Let us start with basics. Never been to Paris. Am a Sikh dude with a turban. Lives in Canada,” Jubbal wrote on his Twitter Nov. 15.
Jubbal also pointed out one obvious discrepancy in the photo.
“Learn the difference between me being a Sikh, and a Muslim,” he added on Twitter.
Anther obvious flaw in the image was that a North American electrical socket could be seen, even though the picture was allegedly taken in Paris.
There was also an item resembling a sex toy in the background.
“In gauging this entire incident--millions upon millions of people have seen the photoshopped images, and have placed me as a terrorist,” Jubbal wrote.
Jubbal was critical of the media organizations which published his image, saying in a statement to the Toronto Star that such coverage increased hostility to the Sikh community.
“When we paint entire faiths and communities with the same brushstroke, we further give terrorists exactly what they want,” Jubbal told the Star.
“This false image is an opportunity for all of us to hopefully grow together in our shared understanding for one another,” he added.
It remains unclear who was responsible for altering Jubbal’s picture. Some have speculated that the Canadian’s criticism of the so-called Gamergate movement last year may have been the cause.
Gamergate’s followers claimed to be fighting for more ethical coverage of the gaming industry, but they were strongly criticized for harassing female developers and journalists online. Jubbal initiated the #stopGamergate2014 tag.