07/16/2017 06:27 EDT | Updated 07/16/2017 07:21 EDT

Referendum underway on Quebec City Muslim cemetery project

SAINT-APOLLINAIRE, Que. — A referendum is underway to determine whether the Quebec City region gets its first cemetery owned and operated by its Muslim community.

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

Only 49 people are eligible to vote 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.

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

Results are expected Sunday evening.

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