Support 110 years of independent journalism.

17 April 2014updated 09 Jun 2021 8:44am

Watch: Muslims show they’re “Happy“ to counter negative media portrayals

A Muslim blog's joyful "Happy" video is going viral.

By Media Mole

If you’ve not heard Pharrell’s “Happy”, then congratulations on your impressive isolation from popular culture. It’s a massive song, arguably the song of summer 2013 and still popular enough to be a challenger for the song of summer 2014. Its video – with a bunch of happy people dancing and clapping in different locations around LA – is really easy to copy, so there are loads of tributes and parodies on YouTube (like this one, or this one, or this one).

The big viral hit on Twitter right now is the version done by Muslim blog The Honesty Policy, which features all kinds of Muslims jumping and dancing and clapping and generally being (you guessed it) happy. It’s managed more than a quarter of a million hits in less than two days, and does a great job of showing that Muslims – contrary to how they’re commonly portrayed in the media – are actually human, and quite enjoy enjoying themelsves. Who’d have thunk it?

In the words of the Honesty Policy:

To any youngster aspiring to be someone, this proves that our community is ready to mobilise together under a simple good intention. Despite our team remaining anonymous, which was REALLY shady, they put their trust in an intention. We have scholars, activists, celebrities, students, professionals, bloggers and everyday’ers all in one video.  It is amazing how times have changed, and we really hope this project inspires others to pick up the mantle and showcase our community for the smiling wondrous people they are. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Of course a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into this, but watching the faces of those who watch it brighten up makes it all worth it.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday - from the New Statesman. Sign up directly at saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. Sign up directly at morningcall.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

We Brits have a bad rep for being a bit stiff, but this video proves otherwise. We are HAPPY. We are eclectic. We are cosmopolitan. Diverse. Creative. Fun. Outgoing. And everything you can think of.

Content from our partners
Planetary perspectives: how data can transform disaster response and preparation
How measurement can help turn businesses’ sustainability goals into action
How UK ports are unlocking green growth

This video is to show  the world despite the negative press, stereotypes and discrimination we are burdened with we should respond with smiles and joy, not anger.

Depressingly, and unsurprisingly, there are a bunch of killjoys who think it’s all a bit much, and that “proper” Muslims shouldn’t be so silly and unserious. They can be found on Twitter, but we won’t be linking to them here. We will, however, point out that Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad – the dean of the Cambridge Muslim College and an extremely influential academic of Islam (he’s the red-headed guy at 0:41) – hasn’t, contrary to the Shaam Post‘s “exclusive“, said that he regrets appearing in it. He’s issued a statement through The Honesty Policy saying: “I’m delighted to see the outcome of the Happy British Muslims video, which has unlocked a remarkable tide of goodwill around the world, and significantly tilted the image of Muslims among many sceptics. Islamophobes must be grinding their teeth to see Muslims of different races and age-groups united by happiness. No-one will produce a Sharia argument against jumping for joy!”

We haven’t heard from Pharrell about what he thinks, but he cried with joy on Oprah after watching some fan-made videos, so it’s probably a good guess that he’d approve.