They were British Muslim males and females, in Hijab and outside of it and they danced in the London streets to the joyous beat of Pharrrell Wiliams’ hit single ‘Happy’.
That’s the message of a new video which shows dozens of British Muslims dancing their hearts out, laughing, singing and smiling along to Pharrell Williams’ hit single “Happy”.
This was the video produced by a group of young Muslims called ‘Honesty Policy’ that went viral more than 300,000 hits on YouTube to evoke smiles seldom seen in these days of high stress.
The video represents “the global movement of happiness inspired by Pharrell,” the Honesty Policy group is reported to have written in an email to a leading British reporter. “It’s part of something that we as Muslims could find ourselves relating to happiness. We, too, are happy people, and we promote a message of happiness.”
That happiness movement and Pharrell’s ‘Happiness Day’ collaboration with the United Nations last month inspired Honesty Policy.
“We’ve been completely blown away by the positive reaction,” said one of the Honesty Policy people in a telephone interview with a leading British newspaper. He refused to give his name, and said instead that the group is made up of men and women from all the different Muslim communities in Britain convey a “message before any identity”.
The group fears “a backlash”, but the feel-good project seems to have struck the right chord with 300,000 viewers so far on YouTube, with Tweets and Facebook messages of support from most young Muslims.Detractors to the public display of joy and celebration have called the message ‘Haram’ (impermissible) and the BBC Asian Network held a vigorous debate asking whether the video was Halal (permissible).
“The issue with this video is that it touches on a lot of deeply entrenched issues within the Muslim community. Lots of people have an idea of Islam that you have to conform to prescribed rules to be a good Muslim, but to us, as young second and third generation British Muslims, that’s not the case…we’re thankful that our faith gives us the room to be British and to be a Muslim”
Timothy Winter, is better known in Muslim circles as Sheikh Abdul-Hakim Murad, a Muslim theologian who lectures at Cambridge University was reported to be happy about his association with the video, but within days of the video coming online, a post appeared on Muslim news website Shaam Post claiming that the academic had distanced himself from the video and its message.cording to Honesty Policy this report was “untrue” and Winter himself told journal that he was “happy to be involved” in the project, which he said cuts the Muslim community free of the “negative images which oppress it”.