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News Outlet Uses Image Of Sikh Man For Story On Terrorism—And People Are Livid

News Outlet Uses Image Of Sikh Man For Story On Terrorism—And People Are Livid
4 months ago

Sikhism is a religion that originated in the 1400s on the Indian subcontinent in the Punjab region. While Sikhism is a monotheistic religion, it is not one of the Abrahamic faiths and bears no distinct relationship to Christianity, Judaism, or Islam. However, that doesn't stop people from repeatedly confusing Sikhs for Muslims. Many see Sikhs wearing turbans and think they're Muslims, however, turbans are usually only common among Muslim clergy, and even then, are more prominent in areas dominated by Shia Islam. That said, turbans are quite ubiquitous among Sikhs.

This confusion has at times become dangerous for the Sikh community. In the first month after 9/11, the Sikh Coalition reported 300 hate crimes directed towards them. There was also the famous case in 2012, where a man shot up a Sikh temple, confusing it for a mosque

Because of this, it's unsurprising that there was a bit of outcry when, last Friday, U.S. News & World Report used a photo of someone who appeared to be a Sikh as the featured image for a story of theirs about terrorism...

The Sikh coalition also chimed in on Saturday...

But they weren't the only ones.

Many felt that the use of the image was irresponsible...

And Laura made this important point...

But the outcry actually made a difference. While a formal apology wasn't issued, the PR manager for U.S. News & World Report, Enxhi Myslymi, did issue this statement...

“It was brought to our attention that some users objected to a photo we published. We reviewed the image, took the photo down, and updated it with a new one within 24 hours. We appreciate our readers for flagging these images for us.” 

And then the Sikh Coalition responded...

"While the Sikh beard and turban are articles of faith that represent a commitment to justice and equality, they have frequently been falsely associated with terrorism in the media with devastating consequences. Images and words matter and the U.S. News image plays into a dangerous narrative that can intensify hate directed at Sikhs. No community deserves to be the target of backlash and bigotry."

U.S. News & World Report switched the photo out for one of the World Trade Center billowing smoke soon after the 9/11 attacks.

Many were thrilled that the publication listened...

At least the paper was quick to fix their mistake, and here's to hoping that these mistakes become fewer and further between.

H/T: Huffington Post, Sikh Coalition, Twitter