Founder of Network Promoting Positive Muslim Image Arrested — For Beheading Wife
The Muslim founder of BridgesTV, a cable network whose slogan is “connecting people through understanding” and which tried to “improve the image of Muslims in the United States,” was arrested on Thursday, for allegedly killing his estranged wife in a manner normally associated with Islamist terrorists — chopping off her head.
Greg Mitchell, editor of Editor & Publisher, reported on Friday that Muzzammil Hassan, “a prominent Buffalo area businessman who founded the BridgesTV network to improve the image of Muslims in the U.S.,” had been charged with second-degree murder in the beheading death of his wife Aasiya Z. Hassan. Mitchell quoted from the network’s website, which described Mrs. Hassan’s “instrumental role in the creation of BridgesTV since she came up with the idea for the network.” The picture of the couple is still up on the website.
Later in his article, Mitchell noted that programs on the network “include kids shows, ‘American Muslim Teen Talk,’ Amy Goodman’s ‘Democracy Now’ and an interview show with James Zogby” (a Muslim network aired a left-wing anti-war program?). He also mentioned that NPR’s All Things Considered program had profiled the Hassans in 2004.
BridgesTV might have had the aim of trying to improve the image of Muslims, but over two years ago, Steve Stalinsky of MEMRI outlined in the now-defunct New York Sun that the network featured Wahhabi anti-Christian and anti-Jewish sermons from Saudi TV broadcasts, including English subtitles. Stalinsky also noted that Donald Conover, one of the main hosts on the network, discussed “the power of the ‘Jewish lobby’” and urged Muslims to vote for Democrats during an interview with a Saudi newspaper in 2006.
You might say some of the network’s past actions, culminating with this latest news, has done nothing to improve the image of Muslims in the U.S., but has only reenforced the strongest imagery about the most publicized sectors of the Islamic world.