Voters reject Quebec City-area Muslim cemetery project 19 to 16

Voters reject Quebec City-area Muslim cemetery project 19 to 16
Voters reject Quebec City-area Muslim cemetery project 19 to 16

Published on: July 16, 2017 | Last Updated: July 16, 2017 8:35 PM EDT

Mohamed Kesri at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec on July 12, 2017.

Mohamed Kesri at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec on July 12, 2017. Jacques Boissinot / THE CANADIAN PRESS

SAINT-APOLLINAIRE — Residents of a town near Quebec City have rejected a plan to establish the region’s first Muslim cemetery by a vote of 19 to 16.

Voters were deciding whether or not to allow a zoning change for the proposed site in St-Apollinaire, 35 kilometres southwest of Quebec City.

The plan for the cemetery was developed after January’s deadly mosque shooting, but the issue was sent to a referendum after enough people came forward to oppose the project.

Opponents of the project said Muslims should be buried in Islamic sections of existing cemeteries.

But Quebec City Muslims said their community deserves the same rights as all other religious groups, which have their own burial grounds.

Thirty-six of 49 registered voters cast ballots. One was rejected.

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