PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Footage of a man slapping a woman, allegedly for not wearing a headscarf, has gone viral on social media in Malaysia.
In the video, the man is seen speaking loudly to a group of women seated at a bus stop, believed to be in Penang state.
The man singles out one of the women, asks about her religion, and questions the way she is dressed.
He loudly berates the woman, who is dressed in black and sports light brown hair, although she tries to ignore him and makes a call on her phone.
The man suddenly hits her with a backhanded slap across the face.
She jumps off the bench and together with other women at the bus stop, confront the man.
However, he continues being belligerent and tries to approach her again.
A woman wearing a baju kurung and a headscarf intervenes and places herself between the man and the victim to prevent her from any further harm.
The action of the man in the viral video, which was also reported by British news portal The Daily Mail, was condemned by actress and entrepreneur Noor Neelofa Mohd Noor on her Instagram account.
"So, this is on a UK news portal. Is this how we want other non-Muslim countries to see us? Muslim Malaysians in this light? Is this how we want to portray Islam and Malaysia?" she said.
Neelofa, who recently was also appointed as AirAsia's non-executive independent director, said that she wanted people to know that Islam is a religion that is beautiful, tolerant and respectful.
She said incidents like these will give Islam a bad reputation. "Ladies, when things like this happen to you or your loved ones, you have to stand up. Don't let people like this belittle you and treat you inhumanely," she said.
"And guys, please, don't do this to other women," she said, adding that men should protect women instead.
Neelofa said that no religion in the world teaches its followers to use violence, and such behaviour was definitively un-Islamic.
Neelofa's Instagram post was also liked by the Sultan of Selangor's daughter Tengku Datin Paduka Setia Zatashah Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, and local celebrity Daphne Iking.