POSTMEDIA has been forced to apologize for a cartoon mocking Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan for his false claim on two occasions that he was the architect of Operation Medusa in Afghanistan in 2006 and for which he has apologized.
The CBC reported that on Tuesday, the Edmonton Sun and other Postmedia publications portrayed Sajjan stewing in a cauldron with the label “LIES.”
But Sikhs and others found it insulting because it resembles images of historic Sikh religious figures who were tortured.
CBC reported that Harpreet Gill, who is on the executive committee of Gurdwara Siri Guru Singh Sabha, said: “I was really disgusted. And then I kind of felt sad as well that a prominent news outlet in the country would do so, and would play with the religious sensitivities of the community who is an integral part of the society here in Canada.”
Gill said the cartoon bears a striking resemblance to the fifth Sikh Guru Arjan Dev Ji, who was forced to sit on a hot plate after speaking up for minorities.
CBC said that on Wednesday, Postmedia responded to criticism in the Letters to the Editor section of the Calgary Sun: “The cartoon was not meant to insult Sikhs. It was a pun on the minister stewing in his own lies. We’re sorry if it was misinterpreted.”
CBC said that on social media, an offended Calgarian posted a response he said he received from the Calgary Sun. “It is supposed to be a pun on Bugs Bunny who always ends up in the cauldron in those cartoons. It is supposed to portray the minister in a stew of lies,” wrote Jose Rodriguez, who signed off as the newspaper’s editor.