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.
The city of Quebec has accepted, subject to the approval by City Council, an offer submitted by the Islamic Cultural Center of Quebec to purchase municipal land that will allow the construction of a cemetery for the Muslim community in the greater Quebec City region,” City Hall said in a statement.
Negotiations over a possible Muslim cemetery had been dragging on for more than a decade, but the debate became more heated after the mosque shooting. The Muslim community was outraged that the remains of some of the victims had to be to be taken to Montreal, 150 miles away, to be buried in a Muslim cemetery.
Last month, plans to build a Muslim graveyard in a small town just outside the city had to be scrapped when local residents rejected the idea in a referendum. Local media said far-right groups had lobbied in favor of a "no” vote.
Several days after that local poll, the Quebec Muslim center received a package containing a desecrated Koran and a hate message.
Anti-immigration and anti-Muslim messages have been on the rise in towns across Quebec province and on nationalist websites.
A spokesman for a right-wing nationalist group, The Federation of Native Quebecers (FQS), in July called on the airwaves of Radio-Canada for a poster campaign against what he called "massive immigration” which he said Quebecers did not want.