August 13, 2009
Posted: 1752 GMT
The debate over whether a public swimming pool in France was right to ban a woman wearing a full-body swimsuit from entering the water has reignited the question of whether secular democratic societies should regulate what people wear in public.
In the "French Republican Ideal," religion and state must be strictly distinct. But when the debate focuses on whether Islamic dress should or should not be banned from public gathering places or state-funded institutions, it inflames passions on both sides of the issue.
After first banning "conspicuous religious symbols" from publicly funded schools in 2004, France has announced that a parliamentary group will investigate whether to ban burqas – the Afghan-style full face and body cover – in all public places.
Now this: a 35-year old French convert to Islam – known only by the first name Carole – says she was kept from swimming in her "burqini" because the pool's management is racist. The swimming pool says religion has nothing to do with it, but that it is forbidden to swim clothed, Muslim or not.
We will look into this issue with the latest from France and with a senior analyst from the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, Magali Rheault. She will argue that free societies should not interfere with what people choose to wear in public. Also, we'd like to know what you think on the topic, so don't forget to vote on the issue in the poll below.
Also today, we will cover reaction to the possible release of the only person ever convicted in connection with the bombin of Pan Am 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie, Scotland.
And : some shockingly good numbers coming out of the Eurozone today. Unexpectedly, economic growth actually rose in the second quarter of this year. Does this mean an end of the recession? is this a real light at the end of the tunnel or just an accidental upward hiccup? Richard Quest will drop in at the Idesk for that.
Plus, we will look into the possible re-inclusion of golf and rugby in the 2016 Olympics. We know that women's boxing is making its debut in the 2012 games. I'll ask Marc McKay how the International Olympic Committee decides what sport to eliminate or add to the calendar of events. I'll ask be reading some of your tweets on the subject (@halagorani).
And, as always, all the latest market and weather news, including the latest on rescue efforts in the aftermath of typhoon Morakot in Taiwan.
See you on TV,
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