Plans have been finalized for Muslims in Quebec City to finally have their own cemetery after decades of searching and dealing with setbacks. In 2011, the final payment for the city’s main mosque, Centre Culturel Islamique Québec, was paid which renewed efforts for a cemetery. This was the same mosque that experienced tragically last January when a gunman shot and killed six men in the main prayer hall and injured 19 others. Since Quebec City had no Muslim cemetery at the time, the bodies of the deceased were sent to Montreal or overseas for burial.
The cemetery will be located on a parcel of land of about 6,000 square metres which the city is selling for $270,000.
“For over 400 years, Quebec has been a welcoming city for all cultures, languages and religions,” stated Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume during a recent press conference. He went on to say that the French concept of “vivre ensemble” or living together, is “fundamental to the success of our society.”
Boufeldja Benabdallah, interim coordinator of the cemetery project, welcomed the news. “Earlier, Mr. Labeaume was praising the land and its beauty, and 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.”