A MAN has allegedly been punched in the face after standing up for three Muslim women on a train in Melbourne.
Police are investigating the incident that began with two men in fluorescent orange tops verbally abusing a group of women for wearing headscarves.
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According to The Age newspaper, one of the men referred to the religious clothing after the women sat down next to them, saying: "You shouldn't be wearing that s*** in Australia."
Jason Cias, 36, claims an argument ensued, during which the older of the women spoke in Arabic to try and calm things down. The men then said: "You shouldn't be speaking that s*** in Australia."
As the women got off the train, one of the men shouted an apparent sexual threat. Mr Cias told The Age: "I said to the guy, 'Mate, they're women'. The implication there was you don't threaten people, particularly women."
It is the latest high-profile incident involving racism on public transport, and how Australians act to defend against it.
In April, Stacey Eden confronted a woman who was harassing a Muslim man and woman aboard a Sydney train:
Mr Cias said one of the unidentified men then punched him in the face, after which there was a short scuffle caught on camera by onlookers. Pictures and video evidence were passed to police.
Speaking later to News Limited, Mr Cias said the incident had left him with a "pretty good black eye" but insisted he'd do the same again. "If anything I wish I had intervened earlier," he said.
A spokesperson for Victoria Police said officers were investigating the incident, which occurred at about 3.30pm on a train bound for Craigieburn from Melbourne Central Station on 15 May. Witnesses were asked to contact Crime Stoppers.
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