Woman slapped allegedly over 'no headscarf'

PETALING JAYA • 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 gives her a backhanded slap across the face.

She jumps off the bench and, together with other women at the bus stop, confronts the man.

But 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 further harm.

A screen grab from a video showing a man slapping a woman, allegedly for not wearing a headscarf, at a bus stop believed to be in Penang.
A screen grab from a video showing a man slapping a woman, allegedly for not wearing a headscarf, at a bus stop believed to be in Penang. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

The action of the man in the video was condemned by actress and entrepreneur Noor Neelofa Mohd Noor on her Instagram account.

"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.

Ms Neelofa, who was recently appointed as AirAsia's non-executive independent director, said 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.

Ms Neelofa said no religion in the world teaches its followers to use violence, and such behaviour was definitively un-Islamic.

Her Instagram post was liked by the Sultan of Selangor's daughter, Tengku Datin Paduka Setia Zatashah Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, and local celebrity Daphne Iking.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 18, 2018, with the headline 'Woman slapped allegedly over 'no headscarf''. Print Edition | Subscribe