This Image Proves Why We Can't Jump to Conclusions After a Major Tragedy

July 15th 2016

Taylor Bell

Following the truck attack in Nice, France that killed 84 people dead critically injured 52 more, a Canadian Sikh man once again became the subject of internet rumors accusing him of a horrendous crime he did not commit.

Shortly after the attack, an old photoshopped image of Canadian journalist Veerender Jubbal wearing a suicide vest and holding a Quran began making the internet rounds before French media identified the attacker as 31-year-old French Tunisian resident Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel.

However, that didn't stop people from drawing their conclusions prematurely.

According to Mashable a friend of Jubbal used social media and set the record straight.

Others came to Jubbal's aid.


The picture of Jubbal was used once before following the terror attacks in Paris in October 2015, according to Mashable. At that time, a popular Spanish newspaper, La Razon, and other publications used the image of Jubbal on their front page.

According to Metro UK, the original image of Jubbal was believed to be photoshopped by people involved with Gamergate, a group of people described by Gawker as "ostensibly concerned with ethics in game journalism and with protecting the 'gamer' identity." Jubbal had previously criticized the community, according to Mashable.

Just last week, Jubbal wrote a first-person essay in The Guardian about how being photoshopped and falsely accused had impacted his life.

It’s only since March that I’ve started going out on my own again. But that same month, Brussels airport and Maalbeek metro station were attacked. People started sharing that picture again and tweeting stuff like, “Did the police not catch you?” and, “Are you still bombing places?” I reported several of these tweets to Twitter’s support team, but I don’t think it’ll make any difference. The police can’t do much, because the people harassing me are from all over the world.

Beyond the personal trauma suffered by Jubbal, there's also the issue of people being so easily deceived by the image. As Islamophobia persists and the fear of different religions continue, it is easy for people to be deceived by stunts like this without critically thinking.

[h/t Mashable]