Anti-Immigration Group on Pic of Empty Bus Seats: 'Terrifying'

Members of the group thought the seats were women in burqas
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2017 4:34 PM CDT

(Newser) – One Facebook user says—as per the Washington Post—it's proof "the meanest are also the stupidest": a photo of six empty bus seats mistaken by a Norwegian anti-immigrant group for women in burqas. Johan Slattavik, who calls himself "Norway's worst web troll," says he posted the photo to the now-closed Facebook group Fatherland First as a joke to "highlight the difference between legitimate criticism of immigration and blind racism," the Guardian reports. He never imagined how successful his prank would be. Responses from Fatherland First members included "terrifying" and "disgusting." "This looks really scary," wrote one member, adding it "could be terrorists" under the burqas. "Get them out of our country," another member commented.

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The confused Fatherland First members became an international laughingstock after screenshots of their responses to the photo of empty bus seats were shared by Sindre Beyer and went viral, the Local reports. Beyer says he shared the comments to let people "see what is happening in the dark corners of the web." "The hatred that was displayed toward some empty bus seats really shows how much prejudices trump wisdom," he says. The head of the Antiracist Centre in Norway, whose government has recently proposed banning burqas, says people “see what they want to see—and what these people want to see are dangerous Muslims." Meanwhile, Slattavik says he "ended up having a good laugh" over the whole thing. (Read more Norway stories.)

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