Muslims in the Quebec City area are facing disappointment and uncertainty after voters in a small town close to the provincial capital voted Sunday night to stop the development of a cemetery catering to the Islamic faith.
In a closely watched referendum Sunday night, just 36 residents of Saint-Apollinaire, a town of around 6,000 southwest of Quebec City, voted 19-16 to overturn zoning changes made earlier this year allowing the cemetery. One ballot was rejected.
“It’s very disappointing,” Mohamed Labidi, president of the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec, told the Star Sunday night. “We feel ignored, the action in Saint-Apollinaire is against living together.”
The centre was the driving force behind the purchase of a plot of land beside an existing cemetery in Saint-Apollinaire earlier this year that members hoped would become their own.