Tunisian authorities shut down nightclub over call to prayer remix

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 April, 2017, 2:41pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 April, 2017, 2:41pm

Tunisian authorities have shut down a nightclub and begun an investigation after a DJ played a remix recording of the Muslim call to prayer, an official said on Monday.

A video, widely shared online since Sunday, shows clubbers dancing at the weekend in the northeastern town of Nabeul to music that includes the call to prayer.

The footage sparked a storm of debate on social media.

Two European DJs played at the party on Friday as part of a music festival near the popular resort of Hammamet.

“After confirming the facts, we decided to close this nightclub” until further notice, Nabeul governor Mnaouar Ouertani said. He said an investigation had begun and the club’s manager detained “for violation against good morals and public outrage against modesty”.

“We will not allow attacks against religious feelings and the sacred,” Ouertani said.

Tunisia’s religious affairs ministry in a statement said: “Mocking the opinions and religious principles of Tunisians is absolutely unacceptable.”

Organisers of the Orbit Festival for techno music fans on Monday apologised in a post on the event’s Facebook page, but said it took no responsibility for the offensive tune.

“Dax J is English and played the track recently in Europe” and did not realise “it might offend an audience from a Muslim country like ours”, they said.

The DJ also apologised. “I want to offer my sincere apologies to anyone who may have been offended by music that I played at Orbit Festival in Tunisia on Friday,” Dax J said.

“It was never my intention to upset or cause offence to anybody.”