Sikh Community Offended by Cartoon Depiction

September 26, 2003

Source: India West

On September 26, 2003 India West reported that "a satiric piece of artwork that recently appeared in The Hartford Courant newspaper in Connecticut so rankled the Sikh community across the country that the legal team of the United Sikhs organization launched a petition drive that accumulated a reported 2,500 signatures to demand a public apology from the artist...Artist Carol Lay depicted Associated Press photos of California Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante at a press conference where a turbaned Sikh looms in the background and is referred to by Lay as 'a shady character' and 'Osama's no good cousin, Randy bin Laden.'..In a letter to Lay that accompanied the petition, the United Sikhs legal team contended that the artwork and the references to Osama bin Laden were 'not only distasteful but simply dangerous and possibly life threatening for innocent Sikh men in turbans.'" The United Sikhs organization issued a press release on Sept. 25, 2003, stating that Lay had issued an apology.