A Norwegian anti-immigrant group has been widely mocked for mistaking a picture of empty bus seats for Muslim women wearing burqas, the Independent reported.
Uploaded on a private Facebook group, the photograph caused uproar amongst its members, while the member who uploaded the image says he got a “good laugh” off it.
According to the newspaper, Johan Slattavik, the man who posted the image asking people their opinion on it, insisted it was a “practical joke” to see responses. “I laid out the photo to see what happened,” he said, adding that he was surprised to see so many people fall for it.
Group members flocked to the post to express their horror with comments describing the image as ‘scary’, ‘frightening’ and ‘tragic. One user asked for a ban on the veil: “It looks really scary, should be banned. You can never know who is under there,” adding that it could have been “terrorists with weapons.”
The debate on the burqa in Norway is not new. Last month, the government proposed a law to ban face-covering Muslim veils in kindergartens, schools and universities, a Reuters report said.
Norway’s minority government, a coalition of the centre-right Conservatives and the populist Progress Party, said it was confident it would find opposition support for the move. “We have every reason to believe this will be approved by parliament,” Education Minister Torbjoern Roe Isaksen told Reuters.
Norway, which will hold elections on September 11, will be the first country in the Nordics to introduce a ban on burqas for both adults and children.
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