Muslim Americans are “Happy” too

In the spring and summer of 2014, a string of videos were released online featuring people from all nationalities and walks of life, dancing to the incessant pop song, “Happy,” by Pharrell Williams. Muslim Americans were not left out of this trend, and in May 2014, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) created a video of hundreds of “happy” Muslim Americans, young and old, dancing to the catchy song. The video did receive some criticism from within Islamic communities for showing Muslims dancing and singing, which some Muslims interpret as problematic. Others pointed out that Muslim Americans don’t have to participate in popular trends or to appear as positive and happy in order to be accepted as “normal” Americans. On the other hand, Muslim Americans are rarely seen in mainstream media outside of the stereotypical tropes of violent terrorist or oppressed victims, so to see a diversity of Muslims, dancing and enjoying life with family and friends, might serve as a small way to shift perceptions of Muslims.

 

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