TUNIS – A nightclub in Tunisia’s northeastern town of Nabeul has sparked both outrage on social media and a criminal investigation after playing a remix which included the voice of Muslims’ call to prayer, or adhan.
“After confirming the facts, we decided to close this nightclub until further notice. We will not allow attacks against religious feelings and the sacred,” the town’s governor, Mnaouer Ouertani, told Agence France Presse (AFP).
The club will be “closed until further notice” and its manager has been detained “for violations against good morals and public outrage against modesty,” he added.
The case came to public after a video was shared on social media networks showing 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.
The party, near the popular resort of Hammamet, had been organized by two European DJs.
Tunisia’s Religious Affairs Ministry said in a statement that “mocking the opinions and religious principles of Tunisians is absolutely unacceptable.”
While the festival organizers apologized in a post on the event’s Facebook page, they said they 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,” the organizers said, adding “it is unfair that 20 sec of music ruined it for an event of 2 days prepared for many months. We do not want to interfere in religious debates.”
The DJ also apologized, saying, “for me the ‘Adhan’ / Call to Prayer is a beautiful vocal. It was never my intention to upset or cause offense to anybody.”
The Adhan is the call to announce that it is time for a particular obligatory Salah (ritual prayer).
The Adhan is raised five times a day.