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.
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.
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.