An anti-immigration Norwegian Facebook group has been mocked after members appeared not to know the difference between empty bus seats and burqa-clad women.
A member of the ‘Fedrelandet viktigst’ or ‘Fatherland First’ private Facebook group shared a photo of the empty bus seats, with the caption “what do people think of this?”
Many seemed to think it resembled women in burqas, and among the responses were, “it looks really scary, should be banned. You can never know who is underneath. May be terrorists with weapons”, while another said “Frightening – not possible to see if they are men or women – if they have piles of stolen goods [underneath] – or at worst weapons and bombs”.
Others sussed out the reality, saying “it’s just empty bus seats” and “can’t you see, no-one’s sitting there”, but still called it a “creepy” picture.
The post from the Facebook group went viral after group member, Sindre Beyer, shared screengrabs of the image and the comments that had been posted.
“What happens when a picture of some empty seats is posted in a group on Facebook and almost everyone thinks they see a bunch of burqas?” he wrote.
The burqa is a veil covering the face and body, worn by women from some Islamic traditions, to cover themselves in public.
Norway is the first Scandinavian country to propose a ban on full-face veils in schools and universities, and a consultation is to get underway over the coming months with those who could be affected by the draft law.
According to a report by Norwegian outlet Nettavisen, the man who originally posted the picture of the empty bus seats did so because he found it “interesting to see how people respond” and “how people’s perceptions […] are influenced by how others around them react”.
He “ended up having a good laugh” at the replies, he told the outlet.