An anti-immigration group in Norway has apparently mistaken the head covering of bus seat for burqa-clad Muslim woman.
On Wednesday former politician and current marketing executive Sindre Beyer shared screenshots taken from a closed group on Facebook.
The group’s name, ‘Fedrelandet viktigst’ would be ‘Fatherland first’ in English, according to The Independent.
It showed a photo posted to the page by someone with access to the 13,000 strong group, Johan Slattavik.
Slattavik’s post was the inside of a bus, but he captioned it “Hva tenker folk om dette?” which roughly translates as ‘What do people think of this?’
He told WorldNews that his post was done as a prank.
“I laid out the photo to see what happened,” he said.
Some of the Facebook commenters read the image correctly, and identified it as an empty bus.
Many however called the sight ‘tragic’ and ‘frightening’, with one person warning that ‘they’ could be hiding stolen goods, or weapons and bombs.
“It looks really scary, should be banned. You can never know who is under there. Could be terrorists with weapons.”
Beyer’s post, shared now over 1,700 times, read:
“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 told Norwegian news Nettavisen:
“I’m shocked by how much hate and fake news is spread there. The hatred that was displayed toward some empty bus seats really shows how much prejudices trump wisdom.”
“That’s why I shared the post so that more people can see what is happening in the dark corners of the web.”
The confusion was complimented by another prankster posting the same photo on a Swedish language anti-Muslim page.
Islamophobia remains an issue in some countries in Europe, specially where there’s a large Muslim population. According to some social scientists, “Terrorism And Islamophobia” are two sides of the same coin of hate.
“By driving communities apart, anti-Muslim hate is undermining the ‘war on terror’, Maha Akeel recently wrote in The Huffington Post. Maha is the Director of Information at the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the world’s 2nd largest intergovernmental body after the UN.