Last week, an ‘outraged’ Norwiegen citizen posted a ‘terrifying’ photo of six Burqa-clad women sitting together on a bus to an anti-immigration private Facebook group.
The image seen by thousands of the 13,000 members within the ‘Fedrelandet viktigst’ or ‘Fatherland first’ group quickly drew concern from those in support of the right-wing Norwegian Government’s proposed policy to ban some forms of dress worn by Muslim women in schools and universities.
“It looks really scary, should be banned. You can never know who is under there. Could be terrorists with weapons,” one user wrote.
Others described it as “frightening” and “tragic” proof the Scandinavian country is facing an immigration crisis.
Only thing is… they weren’t Muslim women at all. They were empty bus seats.
And the outraged citizen – a bored commuter, Johan Slattavik who decided to play “a little practical joke”.
The image went viral after another Facebook user, Sindre Beyer reposted screenshots of the image and consequent comments to his profile.
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“What happens when a photo of some empty bus seats is posted to a disgusting Facebook group and nearly everyone thinks they see a bunch of burqas?”, Beyer’s post read.
In an interview with Norwegian news outlet Nettavisen, he explained he shared the images in an attempt to highlight “what’s happening in the dark corners of the Internet”.
“I’m shocked at how much hate and fake news is spreading there, he said.
“The hatred that came against empty buses really showed that the prejudices trumped wisdom.”
Norway is one of a number of European countries that have proposed laws restricting the wearing of burqas and niqabs in public.
What do you think about this image and how people reacted to it?