Everything You Need To Know About The “Happy British Muslims” Video That’s Going Viral

The video has caused some controversy but mostly, it’s just got people sharing.

1. A few days ago, an anonymous group called The Honesty Policy released a video on YouTube entitled Happy British Muslims.

2. The video showcases Muslims from around the UK dancing to Pharrell Williams’ Happy.

The Honesty Policy / Via youtube.com

3. The aim: “to make other people smile and laugh,” according to the blog post about the video.

The Honesty Policy / Via youtube.com

The group adds: “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.”

A spokesperson for the Honest Policy told BuzzFeed the group, founded in London, was anonymous not because the members want to protect their identities but because they want to inspire young Muslim activists.

He said: “We wanted to show that anyone could play a role. It’s about bringing integrity and sincerity back into the Muslim community and that the message is more important than a face.”

4. A spokesperson told BuzzFeed that the haters helped to make the video go viral.

The Honesty Policy / Via youtube.com

He said there were three reasons the video went viral.

“First, it’s joining in on the whole Pharrell’s recent Day of Happiness,” he said. “We’re joining in on this international movement of happiness and Pharrell encouraged people to get involved. These are sentiments that we agree with.

“Secondly, people understand that. We are Muslim, we are happy and we should be able to get involved in mainstream popular culture.

“Lastly, [the video is] very controversial. There are a minority of people who, once they got their hands on it, they did make a fuss and that helped.”

5. The video has received support from a number of notable British Muslims, such as pro-LGBT social commentator Mo Ansar.

The Honesty Policy / Via youtube.com

6. As well as politicians such as Sadiq Khan and Yasmin Qureshi on Twitter.

Want to see British Muslims breaking some stereotypes? Thank you @Pharrell https://t.co/V03hbr4UGk

— Sadiq Khan MP (@SadiqKhan)

7. Former Respect leader Salma Yaqoob, also took part.

The Honesty Policy / Via youtube.com
The Honesty Policy / Via youtube.com

9. Timothy Winter, a.k.a. Abdal Hakim Murad, director of studies (theology and religious studies) at Wolfson College, Cambridge, also played a cameo role.

The Honesty Policy / Via youtube.com

10. There’s some awkward shuffling.

The Honesty Policy / Via youtube.com

11. Some sassy moves.

The Honesty Policy / Via youtube.com

12. And pure unadulterated joy.

The Honesty Policy / Via youtube.com

13. But not everyone’s happy with the video, with suggestions that Muslims shouldn’t have to prove that they’re regular, happy Brits.

@MrRae1000 @mehdirhasan I'm not a performing monkey

— AssedBaig (@AssedBaig)

Is this the biggest joke ever? British Muslims - some of them prominent - make complete fools of themselves. https://t.co/AGHMkhYVOm

— Roshan M Salih (@RmSalih)

15. A graphics designer, Haseeb Rizvi, said the video would be seen as a “sign of weakness” of the Muslim community.

The Honesty Policy / Via youtube.com

16. He asked: “Do British Muslims need to make a video of themselves singing and dancing, to show non-Muslims people they are happy, and by extension normal and ‘just like everyone else’?”

The Honesty Policy / Via youtube.com

17. Journalist Myriam Francois-Cerrah, pictured below, told BuzzFeed that there’s been too much analysis of the whole thing.

The Honesty Policy / Via youtube.com

“It was just about getting a bunch of people together.” she said. “Pharrell tried to create a series, and there are many out there and we’re really just one version of the Happy video.

“It’s not really that profound. It’s just a bunch of us having a laugh.”

Francois-Cerrah also suggested that more videos are on the way.

She said: “There’ll be more to come but they’ll all be just about us having a laugh.”

18. The video has been viewed positively in most circles. As one Twitter user notes, why is being happy ever a bad thing?

I can't believe the stir this has caused. If ANYONE wants to dance and be happy, why is that ever a bad thing? https://t.co/z12ycGHqH8

— W i l l (@CaptainFluke)

BREAKING NEWS: Muslims are happy people too: https://t.co/hEQAwCfZF4 #Happy #happyday

— Mashaal Mir (@MashaalMir)

:) :) :) Happy British Muslims video https://t.co/Cx7ktbGHIc is a great idea. 'Islamophobes must be grinding their teeth'. via @MoAnsar

— bleep (@bloopington)
The Honesty Policy / Via youtube.com

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