Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

A package sent to the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec two days before the vote on a cemetery in Saint-Apollinaire contained a note expressing hate toward the proposed burial grounds.

THE CANADIAN PRESS

Fallout from the referendum on creating a Muslim cemetery near Quebec City intensified across the province on Wednesday with revelations of a hate package sent to a mosque and questions about how much impact far-right activists had on the vote.

Sunday's referendum in the town of Saint-Apollinaire involved only 49 registered residents, who were asked to vote on a zoning change that would allow the Centre culturel Islamique de Québec to open a cemetery on nearby land.

However, the 19-16 rejection of the proposal rippled far beyond the town, becoming the latest episode in a debate about the place of Muslims in Quebec and the balance between religious rights and secularism.

Story continues below advertisement

Opinion: Rejected Muslim cemetery: Even in death, we find no peace

The Islamic centre, which houses Quebec City's main mosque, on Tuesday evening revealed to its members that it had received a hate package two days before the referendum.

The news reignited anxieties at the mosque. A year ago, someone left a pig's head outside the centre, and in January, a gunman killed six worshippers and wounded 19 others.

Mosque leaders said they did not immediately disclose the existence of the package to prevent it from affecting the referendum.

Constable David Poitras, a spokesman for the Quebec City police, said his department has increased patrols at the mosque and is investigating after Canada Post delivered the package on Friday.

While Constable Poitras would not give details about the content of the package, mosque members say that it included a picture of pigs in a pasture and a note saying: "Looking for a plot to bury your dirty carcasses? Here's the ideal place."

Mahedine Djamai, the mosque's secretary-general, said Wednesday the package also contained a Koran that had been slashed.

Story continues below advertisement

Several politicians expressed sympathy for the Muslims of Quebec City, but it is not clear what the next step would be.

A lawyer for the Muslim centre, Nadia El-Ghandouri, told reporters the community is debating whether a Charter challenge of the referendum result is possible.

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard was among those who spoke out against the hate package. "No one deserves to be treated like this. It is a cowardly gesture," he said.

Emotions also ran high over reports that La Meute, a self-styled anti-Islamist anti-multiculturalism group, had played a role in the referendum campaign.

In Quebec City, Mayor Régis Labeaume warned on Tuesday that he had asked the police to be vigilant about La Meute. "This is extremely toxic. This is the fear-mongering extreme right creating some kind of militia," he told reporters.

In an interview with CHOI-FM, La Meute representative Sylvain Brouillette denied that the group was on the far right, but confirmed that members had taken part, on an individual basis, in the campaign against the cemetery.

Story continues below advertisement

At a public assembly in Saint-Apollinaire last March, a Globe reporter saw a self-described member of La Meute in the audience wearing a cap with the group's paw-print logo.

In his radio interview, Mr. Brouillette said he attended an information meeting because he owns a business in Saint-Apollinaire, but added that he was not involved further.

Saint-Apollinaire resident Sunny Létourneau, who spearheaded the opposition to the cemetery, denied media reports that she was a member of La Meute. "I asked them not to get involved," she said.

She said she joined a Facebook page for La Meute members to correct information being posted online.

La Meute (the French word for a wolf pack) describes itself an organization created to counter the rise of "radical Islam" and claims to have more than 44,000 members.

Incorporated provincially last year, its co-presidents are two Quebec City-area men, Éric Venne and Patrick Beaudry, who describe themselves as former members of the Canadian Forces.

Story continues below advertisement

With a file from The Canadian Press

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies