A London-born techno DJ has been sentenced to a year in prison by a Tunisian court after he played a track sampling the Muslim call to prayer at a festival.
Dax J, who has since left the country after performing at club El Guitone as part of Orbit Festival, was sentenced in his absence having been charged with public indecency and offending public morality.
Nabeul governor Mnaouar Ouertani was quoted as stating the Tunisian government “will not allow attacks against religious feelings and the sacred.”
The club was shut down immediately and the manager was detained. AFP news agency reports the court dismissed charges against the nightclub owner and an event organiser, but the prosecution has appealed, claiming they both should have checked what the DJ was playing.
Dax J has offered “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.
A statement on the official Facebook page for Orbit Festival said: “Dax J did not intend to provoke your anger or offend you. It is clear, after his apologies, that Dax J is sincere and has no reason to hurt our dear festival-goers.”
It added (in French): “We do not want to interfere in religious debates nor tarnish the image of Islam, which remains a religion of peace and forgiveness.”
It is not known where Dax J is presently, though his artist profile lists him as being based in Berlin. His social media accounts have been disabled in light of the controversy.