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Katie, I really appreciate what you wrote. I think back to a few years ago when I was living in Montreal, there had been no mention in the newspaper of Ramadan for the whole month. Then, on the last day, on something like Page A16, there was mention of some bloodbath in Iraq at a mosque. And there is a sizable Muslim community in Montreal. I thought, "My God, is that the only thing they can report about "Islam" at all?" (I hear echoes of this in the upcoming interview on the Ethics of Aid with Binyavanga Wainaina, in his stark critique of what place Africa occupies in Western journalism.) It made me furious. That's not the emotion I want to be feeling during at that time.

And though the program with Vali Nasr was very intelligent and well received, for which I was glad, I'm also glad we could give the Muslim listeners a bit of a break, not have to think about geopolitical wars and such during that time. And somehow, maybe I'm just rationalizing, it seemed to fit the post-election mood better than our original intended broadcast in the middle of September.