A nightclub has been shut down by Tunisian authorities after footage emerged online of DJ Dax J playing a dance remix of the Muslim call to prayer.
The video, which has gone viral on social media, shows revelers in a club in the northeastern Tunisian town of Nabeul dancing to music that includes the Muslim call to prayer.
The video immediately sparked online outrage and the authorities responded by shutting it down.
“After confirming the facts, we decided to close this nightclub,” Mnaouar Ouertani, the governor of Nabeul, told Agence France-Presse. He added that it would remain closed until further notice.
“We will not allow attacks against religious feelings and the sacred,” Ouertani said.
The Muslim call to prayer serves as a reminder to observe the religious act of prayer that Muslims perform five times a day. Tunisia is a secular state, but like most countries in North Africa, the population is overwhelmingly Muslim and deeply conservative.
Reports say two European DJs played at Orbit Music Festival, which was held near the popular resort of Hammamet in Nabuel.
Governor Ouertani said further that an investigation has been opened and the club’s manager detained “for violation against good morals and public outrage against modesty.”
On Monday, Orbit Music Festival organizers issued an apology on their Facebook page but said it was not responsible for the DJ’s choice of music:
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.
For his part, Dax J offered his apologies in a statement to those who may have been offended by his choice of music:
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.
It was never my intention to upset or cause offence to anybody, he said.