While its supporters applaud the diverse array of Muslims featured and simple, positive message of happiness, its detractors have an array of complaints that range from the depiction of co-ed dancing to the use of a pop song, Pharrell Williams' "Happy."
Some feel so strongly that the video is haraam (forbidden) that they have released a halal (permitted) version that takes out the elements considered to be problematic-- namely, adult women.
Many other Muslims find this version far more offensive than the original video, with its myriad of negative implications about women.
The censored version appears to have been made by a member of the Muslim community in an attempt at compromise between the more liberal and conservative voices. The caption for it reads:
Alternative version of the Happy Muslims video by The Honesty Policy. Simply trying to find a middle ground to express ourselves without using extreme means of music or women dancing in public.
The original video featured a variety of well-known British Muslims, with scholars like Cambridge University lecturer Sheik Abdul Hakim Murad and Radical Middleway scholar Fuad Nahdi, as well as hip-hop artist Tanya Muneera Williams and journalist and academic Myriam Cerrah.
Cerrah told The Huffington Post via email, "This new video reflects the persistent attempts by a small but vocal band of misogynistic muslims who believe women have no place in the public sphere, to literally erase women from history. Despite what they may think, they're the real embarrassment to our faith." She emphasized that The Honesty Policy has nothing to do with the censored video.
The Honesty Policy responded to the debate that they sparked with a blog post:
Even amongst the supportive Muslims from similar inclinations, ideologies and perspectives there has rarely been unequivocal unity in our community. But 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.
Ironically for the makers of the halal version, they actually forgot to censor out all the women. A smiling face appears at 0:03, and *cue gasp,* it is female!