Canadian columnist criticised for calling Sikhs "a closed, fanatical bunch"
By Barfi Culture Team
6th March 2018

A Canadian news columnist has been criticised today for writing an article that some say denigrates Sikhs.

Neil Macdonald, an opinion columnist for CBC News based in Ottawa, wrote an article published last night asking why Jaspal Atwal, a convicted terrorist, was not on Canada's no-fly list.

Atwal ended up being invited to Trudeau's tour of India last week. His invitation was rescinded after it emerged he had been convicted of trying to assassinate an Indian minister in the 80s.

The article focused on Atwal's background and asked why there were intelligence failures regarding his status.

But the article also included this paragraph, which has angered many Sikhs:

"The Sikhs were a closed, fanatical bunch, and virtually impossible to penetrate, as Canada's nascent intelligence service learned. They were CSIS's first and greatest failure; Canada's international shame, a former CSIS chieftain called them."

[It has been changed since this article was published.]

Mukhbir Singh, President of the World Sikh Organization of Canada, tweeted: "Not sure how that is even remotely acceptable."

Others also weighed in

Were all Canadian Sikhs fanatical and closed?

Answers on a postcard. It seems the Canadian media still has no problems publishing generalisations about Sikhs.

The wording on the article has since been changed to "Sikh extremists were a closed, fanatical bunch..."

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