April 18, 2014
The Happy British Muslims video was put together by a group of young British Muslims called the Honesty Policy, with a very simple aim: to spread positivity and a bit of empowerment along the way. Who are the Honesty Policy? They have chosen to remain anonymous. “Anonymity is a symbol of integrity, and integrity doesn’t need a face,” they state on their website.
Two days after the video was posted it has gained more than 570,000 views on YouTube, and counting. The responses have been overwhelmingly positive, with thousands of messages of support, although some have criticised the video and labelled it as sinful. The Honesty Policy group stated that “If this video has done anything, it is to galvanise a tremendous, unified and coherent community voice in its defence. Cross-cultural, inter-organisational, multi-ethnic; we have all become one. And what has been the unifying force? Happiness.”
The video’s participants include politicians, journalists, students, families and community leaders. Timothy Winter of Cambridge University, also known as Abdul Hakim Murad, makes an appearance. Renowned among Muslim academics for his stoic nature, Winter doesn’t dance, but poses with a sign reading “I’m happy!”
Winter has released a statement of support stating: “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!”
Although throughout the release of the positive responses some have questioned the need for such a video, with some suggesting that Muslims have to dance to “happy” to prove they don’t mean harm! That the Muslim presence in the media and in social and public engagements is always about proving that Muslims are not a threat and just like everyone else.