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Nationalist Facebook Group Thinks Empty Bus Seats Are Women Wearing Burqas, Melts Down

A man posted a photo of what some people took to be a gaggle of burqa-clad women sitting on a bus, on a nationalist Norwegian Facebook group — sparking a fiery debate that took the photo viral.

But on closer inspection, it appears the photo does not show a group of women in burqas, but simply a collection of bus seats.

The photo was posted by Facebook user Johan Slattavik in the nationalist group “Fedrelandet viktigst” or “Fatherland first,” apparently as a “little practical joke.”

As The Washington Post notes, “group members took the picture — posted with the comment, ‘what do people think of this?’ — as proof that a ban [on burqas] was needed.”

Norway’s right-wing government, which has been reckoning with Europe’s refugee crisis, has recently proposed a law to restrict the burqa.

After the photo was posted, it quickly amassed hundreds of comments, and the photo went viral, attracting thousands of shares and likes.

Per the Post:

“It looks really scary, should be banned. You can never know who is under there. Could be terrorists with weapons,” one user wrote, according to a translation from the Local website. Others described it as “frightening” and “tragic.”

The Post reached out to Facebook user Slattavik, who “said he was curious to see how people would react.”

“I laid out the photo to see what happened,” he said, adding that he was shocked the photo went viral and fooled so many people. “I ended up having a good laugh,” Slattavik said.

[image from Sindre Beyer]

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor of Mediaite. Send tips via email: [email protected] Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin