Oh Muslims are Happy, My Heart Dances!

By now, the ‘Happy British Muslims’ video has gone viral. I almost couldn’t believe it myself and then a friend said ‘those can’t be Muslims, they just got a bunch of people  to pose as Muslims. No way Muslims can do that, dance about to music’. She has got a point there except for the fact that Tim Winter, a very real Muslim theologian from Cambridge Uni is in that video. That led me to give this video the benefit of the doubt. I did see Mohammad Ansari as well as one or three familiar faces.

Notwithstanding Tim Winter et al, I want to believe that these folks are Muslims because deep down, I know that this is how Islam should enable us to feel. Islam provides us a set of tools through which we can achieve a sense of spirituality and be close to our fellow man. I guess a great way to do this is to dance and sing (I say ‘guess’ because I have two left feet. Wooden ones. And a voice which’ll make Simon Cowell feel suicidal!). But yeah, people who dance and sing can definitely raise their moods and corrolarily (I’ve invented a word there thanks to my own happy mood) , people whose moods are raised will suddenly burst into song and a quick step or two. It’s our nature.

Yet, inevitably, the downers pop by to ruin our mood. The Haram Squad as the Guardian calls it.  Tim Winters who appears in the video (you’ll see him above) was verbally attacked for participating in it and was said to ‘distance himself’ , a rumour he himself denied later. Apparently, Muslims shouldn’t be dancing or singing. I can understand why the makers of this video, Honesty Policy have chosen to remain anonymous.

So what is up with these Haram-izers? Why does everything have to be haram for them? My guess is that they feel that piety is best expressed through ultra-composure and seriousness. God forbid that we see anyone, especially a woman dancing. The men would fly into a sexual frenzy or something! Except of course we do NOT. This is simply conservative Middle Eastern and South Asian culture masking itself as ‘Islam’.

A good example of the Haramizers is this video here. The guys quotes the Quran (no reference of course, he’s afraid we might actually look it up) and interprets that the Jews and Christians will never pleased with Muslims until we follow their ways. If his interpretation is correct (and I for one contest it) then why is he using the internet and youtube? The aya (2/120) does not specify which part of the ‘ways’ of Jews and Christians to avoid. So he should avoid all of it, including using the language of a Christian people. Good luck speaking Arabic to British Muslims.

He then speaks of a ‘Muslim identity’ as if he and his ilk are the sole authors of Muslim identity. Who is he to define what Muslim identity is? There over a billion Muslims in the world and each of us have a stake in Muslim identity. Please don’t pretend objectivity Sir. You don’t speak for all of us. You just speak more dodgily than all of us.

To all the Muslims who enjoyed ‘Pharrell – Happy British Muslims’ , I say good for you! Islam should make us feel good and we should show it to the world. Don’t let a bunch of uptight medievalists take that away from you. Lets make the world happy!