Angry at being portrayed as terrorists, Sikhs ask the media to listen with #askCanadianSikhs
By Barfi Culture Team
19th March 2018

Tired of having their voices ignored in the media and of being associated with terrorism, Canadian Sikhs voiced their frustration on Twitter this weekend with the hashtag #askCanadianSikhs.

On Thursday evening, Mukhbir Singh, President of the World Sikh Organization (WSO) went to see an Ice Hockey game between the Montreal Canadiens and Pittsburgh Penguins. While waiting in line someone asked him if he was Sikh. Then asked him about terrorism.

But rather than get defensive or angry, Singh merely tried to explain what was wrong with the Canadian media coverage of late. And that, he said later on Twitter, was more than what "many in our media" were doing.

He wasn't alone.

A picture widely shared on social media illustrated the way the Canadian media, particularly its national broadcaster CBC and prominent journalist Terry Milewski, had largely ignored Sikh voices while covering them.

On Friday, the WSO encouraged other Sikhs to also raise their voices with #askCanadianSikhs, and hundreds soon followed.

"Over the past month the Canadian news media reports have lacked nuance and context and as a result have smeared the Sikh community as radical and extremist. The exclusion of Canadian Sikhs from the discussion has been striking," the organisation said in a tweet.

Here are some of the tweets posted using the hashtag.

Criticism of the Canadian media also came from MPs. Liberal MP Ruby Sahota called it "one dimensional" in a tweet.

Get our weekly email on the desi diaspora
Barfi Culture is a (recently launched!) news magazine, covering South Asians living in Europe and North America.

»   Balanced news, informative opinions
»   Celebrating our cultures
»   A platform for people

We publish daily. Get our email or find us on social media (tw: news; fb: culture; insta: images).

Find out more | Tell us your story
Barfi Culture is a news-magazine on South Asians in Europe and North America.
(This is what makes us different)

Editorial Policy | Contact Us