It seems that Pharrell's hit song "Happy" really is making everybody, well, happy. Just when you thought you were sick of "Happy" and the various videos it's inspired, the Muslim community of Chicago has created what might be the best one yet. The video was inspired by the "Happy Biritish Muslims" video that went viral last week, and shows off the diversity of the Chicago Muslim community.
Rayyan Najeeb, the project's creator who recently graduated from film school at Northwestern, says that lots of people were eager to participate. In fact he managed to get over 150 volunteers with only 12 hours notice. And the finished product has been popular, gaining almost 50,000 views since first being posted on Monday. Najeed says that the response clearly shows that "we struck a chord that the Muslim community resonates with: we are happy people who want to spread happiness, together."
The video and its British predecessor have drawn some criticism from those in the Muslim community who claim that women dancing is haraam or forbidden under Islamic law and therefore should not be shown in the videos. The debate is somewhat reminiscent of the controversy that surrounded the Muslim hipsters video from a few months ago, where many objected to Muslim girls engaging in distinctly American activities that suggested assimilation rather than a unique Muslim identity.
The "Happy Chicago Muslims" video, on the other, seems to be nothing but a celebration of Muslim community, showcasing some of the many Muslims who call Chicago home. The people in the video are different races and different ages. Some have beards, some don't; some wear hijabs, some don't. But they are all pretty happy.
You can also check out the original British version!
Image: Rayyan Najeeb/Youtube