The bus seats in the photo posted on anti-immigrant Fedrelandet Viktigst Facebook group. Photo: Facebook
An anti-immigration Facebook group in Norway hits the headline after members could not tell the difference between empty bus seats and burka wearing women.
Last week, a facebook user posted a photograph to a Norwegian anti-immigrant group. The photo that appeared to show six women wearing burqas on a bus sparked a heated debate in the Facebook group called “Fedrelandet viktigst (Fatherland first)”.
All of a sudden, the group members started to write anti-immigrant comments under it by claiming that the photo encapsulated the problems Norway was facing due to influx of Muslim immigrants.
“It looks really scary, it should be banned. You can never know who is under there. Could be terrorists with weapons” were some of the hundreds of comments.
However, when you look at the photo closely, it was irrelevant to any debate about immigration in Norway. Because, those were not burqa-wearing women but only empty bus seats.
A Practical Joke Showing Blind Xenophobia
Johan Slattavik, who posted the photo, told WorldViews in a Facebook message that he had been bored one night so he decided to play “a little practical joke to see how people would react.
-I ended up having a good laugh, Slattavik said.
Johan Slattavik said the experiement has also been educational.
-I have thought about the differences between legitimate criticism of immigration and blind racism and xenophobia, said he.
He noted he managed to show the xenophobic groundless criticism by setting up this practical joke and observing the reactions.
Another Facebook user, Sindre Beyer posted both the original post and the comments under it to his own Facebook page with comment:
“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 has gone viral in a short time. As a response to the post, many mocked the anti-immigrant original comments.
One facebook user wrote: “I guess I passed the test, since the first thing I saw was a bunch of Darth Vaders.“