Sweden's Bearded Villains don't mind if you talk a little smack about hirsute hipsters. In fact, the Scandinavian group—dedicated to fighting "injustice, bullying, and racism," per the Local—"loved" that a local Swede freaked out when a couple dozen of them gathered for a photo shoot around a black-and-white flag over the weekend because he thought they were ISIS militants up to no good, a member says. "It made our day," John Ekeblad tells the Local, noting the fact that their story has gotten publicity may help people stop being "small-minded" when it comes to outer appearances. "The first thing … [people] think when they see men with beards and a flag is ISIS," he adds. "But bearded men can be nice and giving and loving as well."
In fact, the mission of Bearded Villains is to highlight "bearded men with character, from your next door neighbor to the supermodel on GQ mag," the parent website says. But during a photo shoot set among castle ruins on Saturday, two cops showed up to question the Swedish chapter after someone called saying they spotted about 30 terrorists with an ISIS flag. "We had a good laugh with the cops, who … quickly saw that we weren't terrorists, out in the middle of nowhere, dressed in formal wear, hugging and laughing," another member, Andrea Fransson, posted on Facebook Sunday. Ekeblad adds, "It went from an 'ISIS crisis' to a lot of laughing really fast." Fransson does acknowledge, however, that his group's flag does somewhat resemble the ISIS one, per the New York Post. (An angry mob recently attacked a hipster cereal cafe in London.)