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49 people to decide whether Quebec City’s Muslims get their own cemetery

The provincial capital’s first Muslim cemetery was inaugurated Sunday, with more than 500 plots in an existing cemetery in Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures set aside for those of Muslim faith, Sunday, July 9, 2017. TVA

Forty-nine people will decide in a referendum on Sunday whether the Quebec City region gets its first cemetery owned and operated by its Muslim community.

READ MORE: Not enough Muslim cemeteries in Quebec, community struggles to bury dead: immigration specialist

The proposed burial site is located in Saint-Apollinaire, a town of 6,000 about 35 kilometres southwest of Quebec City.

READ MORE: First Muslim cemetery in Quebec City region inaugurated

The number of people allowed to vote is small because only those living or working near the proposed site get to cast a ballot.

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

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

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Saint-Apollinaire Mayor Bernard Ouellet says there is no Plan B if the referendum fails.

Results are expected Sunday evening.

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