A video of a man berating and then slapping a Muslim woman for not wearing a hijab has sparked outrage in Malaysia.
In the widely shared clip, the unidentified man can be seen scolding a group of women sitting at a bus stop in Penang, MailOnline reports. The women were wearing trendy, modern clothing.
He then asked one of them about her faith and why she was not wearing a hijab. The headscarf is a veil usually worn to cover the head and chest by some Muslim women in the presence of adult males outside of their immediate family as a symbol of modesty and privacy.
When the woman responded she was a Muslim, and then explained that wearing the hijab “is our right” and a personal choice, the man suddenly slapped her face with the back of his hand. The outburst shocked the onlookers and the hundreds of thousands of netizens who later viewed the unprovoked assault online.
Before the clip ended, the woman can be seen standing up, apparently confronting her attacker.
Malaysia, which is a multiconfessional country, is home to about 19.5 million Muslims, which account for 61.3% of its total population.
While wearing the hijab is not mandatory for women in the country, some government buildings enforce a dress code which bans women, Muslim and non-Muslim, from entering while wearing “revealing clothes” within their premises.
Religious conservatism in parts of Malaysia and other Muslim countries also places an unofficial pressure on women to wear a hijab, regardless of whether it is mandatory or not.
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