A viral video showing a Malaysian man slapping a Muslim girl for not wearing a hijab has caused massive outrage in the country. In the six-minute-long clip, an unidentified man can be seen yelling and berating a group of girls waiting at a bus stop in Penang.
In the video, some of the girls can be seen decked up in traditional clothing along with the headscarf, while others are dressed in slightly more modern attire sans the hijab. The man enters the bus stop and starts yelling at the girls in the local language while pointing his finger towards the girls without the headscarves.
Then he questions the girls about their religion, asking them, "Are you Muslim?" He proceeds further by saying, "If yes, they should cover their heads in public places."
One of the girls, who is wearing a skirt and top and has her hair loose, answers by saying she is a Muslim but that wearing a hijab or not is her personal choice. But to everyone's shock, the man hits the girl across her face. His violent reaction surprises onlookers before other girls also come into the fray to voice their protests against him.
In Malaysia, wearing a hijab – also called a tundung – is the dress code that most Muslim women follow. While a headscarf is not compulsory attire for women in the country, there are specific places where they need to wear a hijab and dress modestly. Over 60% of the Malaysian population are Muslims and, while there is no mandatory rule, women are unofficially under pressure to cover their heads while they are in public.
The video, which was shared on Facebook and YouTube by Tribun Medan, has been viewed more than 700,000 times on Facebook, with many expressing their disgust over the harassment.
While many agreed that the man's violent actions were uncalled for, others thought he might be "mentally imbalanced". The girl, however, was hailed on social media for hitting back at the assaulter and not bowing down to his berating taunts.
IBTimes UK cannot independently verify the authenticity of the video.