Sheikh dat thangSheikh dat thang

Tunisia shuts nightclub over call to prayer remix

Manager of venue where track was played detained for ‘public outrage against modesty’

Illustrative photo of a nightclub scene (Zuzana Janku/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of a nightclub scene (Zuzana Janku/Flash90)

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 Monday.

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

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 told AFP.

He said an investigation had been opened 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.

Organizers of the Orbit Festival for techno music fans on Monday apologized 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 realize “it might offend an audience from a Muslim country like ours,” they said.

The DJ himself also apologized.

“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 offense to anybody.”

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