Tunisia: DJ sentenced to jail over call to prayer remix

Tunisian court sentences British DJ in absentia to a year in jail for playing dance remix of the Muslim call to prayer.

Ben Ariel, Canada,

Flag of Tunisia
Flag of Tunisia

A Tunisian court on Friday sentenced a British DJ to a year in jail after he played a dance remix of the Muslim call to prayer, the BBC reported.

London-born Dax J, was charged with public indecency and offending public morality but had already fled the country before the court case and was thus tried in absentia.

A video of the alleged incident, which has been widely shared online, shows clubbers dancing in the northeastern town of Hammamet to music that includes the call to prayer.

The footage sparked a storm of debate on social media, with subsequent reports saying that the DJ had received death threats.

He also issued an apology for the incident,while the nightclub was shut down.

A court spokesperson told the AFP news agency that the court dismissed charges against the nightclub owner and an event organizer, 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 the country's north-east. Earlier in the week, the organizers of the festival apologized 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 realize it might offend an audience from a Muslim country like ours," they said in the post (in French), according to the BBC.

In many Arab countries, incidents that are viewed as “insulting Islam” are frowned upon and often result in violent riots.

In 2012, the "Innocence of Muslims" film, which depicted the Muslim prophet as a thuggish deviant, triggered a wave of violent protests in the Muslim world that left dozens dead.

Last year, a prominent Jordanian writer was shot dead outside the courthouse where he had been on trial for posting a cartoon deemed offensive to Islam on social media.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)