Last Thursday, a woman named Aasiya Z. Hassan, 37, was founded decapitated in Orchard Park, New York, a village near Buffalo. Her husband, Muzzammil Hassan, 44, was charged, rather oddly, with second-degree murder in the case. But the specter of someone who beheaded his wife being charged only with second-degree murder was the least of the oddities in this case: Aasiya Hassan's body was found in the offices of the cable channel, Bridges TV. Aasiya Hassan was the inspiration for Bridges TV, and Muzzammil Hassan was its founder.
Muzzammil Hassan founded Bridges TV in 2004 to combat the negative perceptions of Muslims that he thought were dominating the mainstream media. According to a Reuters story at the time, Aasiya "came up with the idea in December 2001 while listening to the radio on a road trip." Muzzammil Hassan explained: "Some derogatory comments were being made about Muslims that offended her. She was seven months pregnant, and she thought she didn't want her kids growing up in this environment."
Bridges TV originally declared that its intention was to "fuse American culture with the values of Islam in a healthy, family-oriented way." However, there were indications at the outset that it might not have been as moderate as many assumed. Bridges TV from the beginning had ties to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case, and Islamicity.com, which retails rabid anti-Semitic literature. In 2006 Arab News reported that Hassan was trying to raise money for the network from Saudi investors.