Last week, an image that seemingly appeared to show six women wearing burqas sitting in a bus, sparked a heated debate in a private Norwegian anti-immigration Facebook group called “Fatherland first.”
According to Norwegian English news site The Local, members of the group felt that the photo was proof of "the Islamification of Norway."
After one of the group's members posted the image online, it garnered over a hundred comments, with someone writing: “It looks really scary, should be banned. You can never know who is under there. Could be terrorists with weapons."
But their entire debate turned out to be invalid.
Because the image wasn't actually of women in burqas.
Don't believe us... here, take a closer look:
"An interesting test of how quickly people can find confirmations of their own delusions"
Speaking to a local newspaper, Beyer, said he had been following the group, which has near to 13,000 members, for a while now.
He also explained why he decided to share the screenshots.
"I’m shocked by how much hate and fake news is spread there. The hatred that was displayed toward some empty bus seats really shows how much prejudices trump wisdom,” he said.
“I shared the post so that more people can see what is happening in the dark corners of the web,” he added.
Rune Berglund Steen, the head of the Norwegian Centre Against Racism also spoke to the newspaper and explained what the whole debate actually reflected.
“People see what they want to see and what they want to see are dangerous Muslims. In a way it’s an interesting test of how quickly people can find confirmations of their own delusions,” Steen said.
This incident comes just a month after Norway proposed a bill that would effectively ban the burqa, a face veil worn by some Muslim women, in the country's schools and kindergartens.
What it truly reveals is that the hate filled rhetoric that is currently on the rise all over the world is based on exaggerated fears, rather than on actual facts, dialogue, and understanding.