Claims that all the graves in a new £2.5 million cemetery would be aligned with Mecca were dismissed last night as "ridiculous".
Jon Collins, the leader of Nottingham city council, said reports that the dead would be buried according to Islamic tradition, regardless of their religion, at the city's High Wood Cemetery were untrue.
"It is getting ridiculous," Mr Collins said. "Anybody can be buried any way they want and I question the motives of the people who try to stir up this kind of thing."
Reports circulated that the council planned to make all headstones in the 40-acre site face north-east, the way all followers of Islam are buried, despite the majority of the population being Christian.
Stephen Barker, the city's reputation manager, said the claims were "bordering on racism".
He said that although the majority of people did not specify the direction in which they want to be buried, any requests would be granted.
The cemetery, which opened in July, has capacity for around 13,500 adult graves and has sections to cater for all faiths, he added.