A Tunisian court has sentenced a British DJ to a year in jail after he played a dance remix of the Muslim call to prayer. London-born Dax J, was charged with public indecency and offending public morality – but had already fled the country before the court case. He had also issued an apology.
The nightclub was shut down after footage of the weekend’s event was shared on social media and sparked outrage. A court spokesperson told AFP news agency that the court dismissed charges against the nightclub owner and an event organiser, but the prosecution has appealed saying the two should have checked what the DJ would be playing.
The event was part of Orbit Festival in Nabeul in the country’s north-east. The footage showed clubbers dancing to music played by two European DJs. The music included a dance version of the call to prayer, the religious act that Muslims perform five times a day.
“We will not allow attacks against religious feelings and the sacred,” the governor of Nabeul, Mnaouar Ouertani, said when the club was shut down.
Earlier in the week, the organisers of the Orbit Festival apologised in a post on the event’s Facebook page, but said that they did not accept responsibility for the playing of any offensive music. The DJ “did not realise it might offend an audience from a Muslim country like ours,” they said in the post (in French).
Dax J has offered his “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.
Dax J has performed at festivals and nightclubs around the world including techno festival Awakenings in Holland and the UK’s Glastonbury.
He runs a studio in Berlin, where he also works as a sound and mastering engineer, according to his management company.[Source: BBC]