Que­bec City ap­proves ceme­tery for Mus­lims

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Mus­lims in Que­bec City are go­ing to have their own ceme­tery af­ter all.

The ceme­tery will be lo­cated on a par­cel of land of about 6,000 square me­tres the city is sell­ing for about $270,000 plus taxes, Mayor Regis Labeaume and mem­bers of the Mus­lim com­mu­nity said at a news con­fer­ence Fri­day.

It is ex­pected to be ready this fall.

The news came just three weeks af­ter a pro­posal aimed at set­ting up a Mus­lim ceme­tery in a town south­west of Que­bec City was de­feated in a ref­er­en­dum by a 19-16 mar­gin.

Que­bec City’s Mus­lims have been look­ing for a ceme­tery for two decades, but made a re­newed push af­ter they com­pleted the pay­ment for the city’s main mosque in 2011.

It was there in Jan­uary that a gunman shot dead six men in the main prayer hall and in­jured 19 oth­ers. The mosque’s Mo­hamed Labidi praised Labeaume for keep­ing his prom­ise to forge ahead with plans for the ceme­tery.

“It’s a great day,” Labidi said. “It is a his­toric day for Que­bec City.” Boufeldja Ben­ab­dal­lah, in­terim co-or­di­na­tor of the ceme­tery project, also wel­comed the news.

“Ear­lier, Mr. Labeaume was prais­ing the land and its beauty,” he said. “I told him, ‘You’re go­ing to push us to die ear­lier be­cause we want to take ad­van­tage of the land.’ It’s just to say there is joy to­day and we are all go­ing to die in peace and with re­spect.”

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