In Depth

Far-right group mistakes empty seats for burkas

Commenters said pictures of empty Oslo bus were 'scary' and 'tragic'

Members of a far-right group branded a picture of empty bus seats "terrifying" after mistaking them for women in burqas.

The picture - supposedly depicting Muslim women on an Oslo bus - was posted to a Facebook page for supporters of Norwegian anti-immigrant group Fedrelandet viktigst (Fatherland First), according to Norwegian news site Nettavisen

The post quickly attracted more than 100 comments. Some users saw through the prank, but many failed to recognise that they were looking at bus upholstery rather than the Islamification of Oslo's public transport.

Commenters described the picture as "frightening", "tragic" and "scary", according to The Local.

One even called for women to be banned from wearing the full-length Islamic gown in case they were "terrorists with weapons".

The picture was originally shared to the group by Johan Slattavik, with the caption "what do people think about this?". Slattavik said he shared the image as a "practical joke".

Sindre Beyer was one of several people to share the post from the private group. He told Nettavisen that he wanted the public to "see what's happening in dark corners of the web".

"I'm shocked at how much hate and fake news is spreading there," he said. "The hatred directed against empty buses really showed that prejudice trumped wisdom."

Rune Berglund Steen, the head of Norway's Anti-Racism Centre, said the reaction was example of how "people see what they want to see" when it comes to prejudice against Muslims, regardless of reality.

"The buses are not full of creepy Islamists," he told Nettavisen, adding: "And rarely are so many seats empty, either."

Recommended

Joe Biden: ‘a default president at the helm of a middling administration’
Joe Biden
In Brief

Joe Biden: ‘a default president at the helm of a middling administration’

‘Backlash over deal’
Today's newspaper front pages
Today’s newspapers

‘Backlash over deal’

The weirdest things Brits do in the bathroom
A toilet roll
Tall Tales

The weirdest things Brits do in the bathroom

Brazil election: is Jair Bolsonaro preparing to stage a coup?
Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro speaks to supporters during a demonstration on Brazil's Independence Day on 7 September 2021 in Sao Paulo, Brazil
In Brief

Brazil election: is Jair Bolsonaro preparing to stage a coup?

Popular articles

Doctor says we should not sleep naked because of flatulent spraying
The feet of a person sleeping in a bed
Tall Tales

Doctor says we should not sleep naked because of flatulent spraying

World’s most extreme weather events in 2021
Wildfire in Greece
In pictures

World’s most extreme weather events in 2021

The man tasked with putting a price on 9/11’s lost lives
Kenneth Feinberg at a Congressional hearing
Profile

The man tasked with putting a price on 9/11’s lost lives

The Week Footer Banner