Was Dax J insensitive or just plain out-of-touch with Muslim religious sensitivities?
Last Friday, Berlin-based DJ Dax J sparked a huge controversy in Tunisia. The British-born DJ played a track sampling the Islamic call to prayer at Orbit Festival.
After a user uploaded the video on Facebook on Sunday, authorities proceeded to shut down the El Guitone nightclub located in the northeastern town of Nabeul. Mnaouar Ouertani, the governor of Nabeul, said in a statement,
“After confirming the facts, we decided to close this nightclub. We will not allow attacks against religious feelings and the sacred.”
On Friday night, Dax J played a dance remix of the Muslim call to prayer. Muslims perform the religious act five times a day. In the video, fans cheered the track and danced along to the music. Once the video leaked, however, it sparked outrage across the country.
The Ministry of Religious Affairs condemned Dax J. They stated,
“Mocking the opinions and religious principles of Tunisians is absolutely not acceptable.”
The techno DJ took to his Facebook page to apologize and express remorse. He wrote,
“I want to offer my sincere apologies to anyone who may have been offended by music that I played at Orbit Festival in Tunisia. It was never my intention to upset or cause offense to anybody.”
However, people posted death threats on Dax J’s Facebook, prompting him to close his page.
Festival organizers near the town of Hammamet wrote,
“Dax J had no intention of provoking your anger or offending you. It is clear, after his apologies, that Dax J is sincere and has no reason to hurt our dear festival-goers.”
However, on Facebook, organizers stated that they did not accept any responsibility for Dax J’s actions.
El Guitone nightclub will remain closed until authorities complete their investigation. Authorities have also arrested the club manager for “violation against good morals and public outrage against modesty.”
Users have since uploaded the video on YouTube. You can watch the controversial remix here.