Why Charity Is An Important Part Of Ramadan; The Equal Rights Amendment; Toxic Algal Blooms

May 15, 2018

Zakat Chicago

On the 21st: As the Equal Rights Amendment makes its way through the General Assembly, we hear from voices who agree and disagree with this measure. Plus, why environmental groups are worried about an increase in toxic algal blooms in our nation's waterways. But first, tonight marks the beginning of Ramadan for Muslims across North America; we'll hear about the important role charity plays in this holy month for Muslims.


 

Tonight, after sundown, Muslims all around the world will begin celebrating the Islamic month of Ramadan.

Many of us know that this means that for about 30 days, many Muslims will fast during the day during, but there is more to Ramadan than just not eating or drinking. It’s an important time for charitable giving, including a specific form of charity called Zakat.

To help us learn more about this concept and its role in Ramadan, we were joined by Imam Saad Baig from the Islamic Center of Quad Cities in Moline. We also spoke with Mohammed Kaiseruddin, the chairman of Zakat Chicago, and Dilnaz Waraich, Chair of the the Interfaith and Outreach Committee at the Muslim Community Center in Chicago.
 

Plus—

When it comes to the Equal Rights Amendment in Illinois, the battle has been brewing for decades. It seems, however, that we could be reaching a boiling point.

A ratification proposal recently passed the State Senate, and it’s supposed to go to the House for a vote this week. And while this law, which would ensure that quote “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex,” would just recognize Equal Rights in Illinois, people around the country on both sides are paying attention.

We started with Representative Steven Andersson. He's a Republican state representative from the 65th District, which includes Geneva, about an hour west of Chicago. He’s been a vocal supporter of the ERA.

Then, we brought Anne Schlafly Cori into the conversation. She’s the Chair of the Eagle Forum, and her mother Phyllis Schlafly successfully waged a Stop ERA campaign in the state in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

Finally, we spoke with Rachel Otwell, who has been reporting on this for NPR Illinois in Springfield.

And—

Yesterday we saw a high of 90 degrees outside our Urbana studios. And in the summer time temperatures like that often also mean warmer temperatures in our lakes and rivers.

This year, environmental advocates are worried that this will be a banner year for what are called “toxic algal blooms.” They’re not quite the same thing as the algae you’re used to seeing - and they’re much more dangerous.

They’re also not tracked by government data. So the Environmental Working Group has been compiling this information themselves in a new report they put out today. We’re going to get into what this means for Illinois and the Midwest - and, check in on the health of our rivers and lakes in general especially with the Farm Bill currently in Congress.

We were joined by Craig Cox, Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources with the Environmental Working Group. With us in our Urbana studios wasCarol Hays, executive director of the Prairie Rivers Network.