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Doctored photo wrongly accuses Sikh man of being Paris terrorist

When Veerender Jubbal, a Canadian man of the Sikh religious faith, posted a selfie taken in his bathroom to social media, he did not expect it to be distorted to accuse him of being a terrorist linked to the recent Paris terror attacks.

In the original photo, Jubbal -- who is shown wearing a Dastar, a turban that is important to his religion -- is seen simply holding his iPad up to his mirror.

A different, doctored version of the photo that later circulated around social media this weekend shows Jubbal wearing a suicide vest, with his iPad replaced by a copy of the Koran. A sex toy was also added to the background of the photo.

The photo made the rounds on Twitter when major Spanish newspaper La Razón and television channel Antenas 3 published headlines with the doctored image claiming Jubbal was one of the terrorists responsible for the Paris attacks on Friday.

"One of the terrorists may have entered Greece along with Syrian refugees," read the text accompanying the photoshopped image in Madrid-based La Razon. Under Jubbal's smiling face is the caption, "One of the terrorists."

Over the weekend, as the image went viral, and tweets and messages for Jubbal poured in, prompting the freelance journalist to respond to the accusations that he had anything to do with the attacks.

"Let us start with basics. Never been to Paris. Am a Sikh dude with a turban. Lives in Canada," he tweeted.

So why was he singled out? Jubbal suggested it may have been revenge for his online activism against sexism and harassment in the video gaming world.

Jubbal has previously spoken out about Gamergate, which is often a reference to a harassment campaign against women in the video game industry by anonymous posters online. On Twitter, he suggested that the faked image was produced by those associated with Gamergate.

"Gamers are absolute garbage like I have been saying for a full year," Jubbal wrote. "People will not stop harassing, and bothering me. I am cute as gosh."

On social media, many rallied to Jubbal's defense, re-tweeting a side-by-side comparison showing the original image next to the photoshopped version. Twitter user @AmyStephen decried the public smear as "online terrorism."

Fellow activist and video game designer Brianna Wu pointed the finger squarely at Gamergate.

Jubbal said the images spread so quickly that his family in India were aware of the doctored photo before he even told them.