'Happy Chicago Muslims' Dance To Pharrell Following Viral British Video

A viral video from across the pond has been such a hit it's already inspired its own American spinoff.

Last week, British group the Honesty Policy released a video of a diverse mix of Muslim Brits dancing to Pharrell Williams' smash pop hit "Happy" as part of an effort "to show the world despite the negative press, stereotypes and discrimination we are burdened with we should respond with smiles and joy, not anger."

In just more than a week, that video was viewed over 1.3 million times and has been met with both praise and pushback as a vocal minority of Muslims believe the video contains elements that are haraam (forbidden or sinful). Specifically, some object to the video featuring adult women dancing publicly to music.

Regardless of the controversy, Chicago filmmaker Rayyan Najeeb, a recent Northwestern University film graduate, was so inspired by the Honesty Policy video he wanted to create his own version. As he is heavily involved with several Muslim organizations in the Chicago area, he put out a call for interested participants associated with those groups to participate in shooting a video aimed at bringing the city's Muslim communities together.

With just 12 hours notice, Najeeb says 150 participants showed up to be in the video on Friday. The joyous clip, which shows a variety of Chicago-area Muslims breaking out into dance while going about their daily routines, was posted Monday and has clearly already resonated -- it's been viewed almost 25,000 times in two days.

The enthusiastic response, Najeeb said in a statement, is evidence "we struck a chord that the Muslim community resonates with: we are happy people who want to spread happiness, together."

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