US News & World Report Egregiously Use Sikh Man In Terrorism Story

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Social media is livid after the U.S. News & World Report used an image of a Sikh soldier to accompany the headline "How Terrorism is Taught Around the World."

Side profile of Sikh man sitting near staircase

It's truly shocking that in 2018 we still have to remind people that the face of terrorism is not confined to one skin color or religion, something that the U.S. News & World Report seems to have forgotten. 

The news outlet has been slammed with backlash after using an image of a Sikh man to accompany an article headlined "How Terrorism Is Taught Around The World." 

People took to social media to share their outrage, describing the use of the image as "irresponsible" and furthering an already false and extremely dangerous stereotype. 

"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," the Sikh Coalition stated to HuffPost. "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."

Following the backlash, the outlet replaced the image with one of the Twin Towers after the 9/11 attacks, but did not issue a public apology. 

"It was brought to our attention that some users objected to a photo we published," the outlet's communications and public relations manager, Enxhi Myslymi, explained in an email to HuffPost. "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." 

While replacing the image was the right move, U.S. News never should have had to do so in the first place. Using an image of a Sikh man and associating it with terrorism — though U.S. News claims it was a mistake — clearly shows that the outlet, when considering terrorism, first thinks of Sikhs and Muslims which plays into a false narrative. 

By using a Sikh man as the "face of terrorism" the outlet, whether intentionally or not, has placed a group of people in the direct line of discrimination and harm. 

As a media source, U.S. News should think more critically about the images they use and the messages that they may be promoting, there is no other option.

Thumbnail/Banner Credit: Reuters 

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