Stateside

Head of BridgesTV in Troubled Water

This is the story of Bridges TV, the US equivalent of the United Kingdom’s Islam Channel.

Founded in 2003, this is how the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islam Online described its genesis:

While driving one night last year, Muzzammil S. Hassan and his wife, Aasiya, were listening to a talk show that took an anti-Muslim turn. Aasiya turned to her husband and asked why there can’t be a way for American Muslim families to create a strong, safe and good environment for their children.

“In those days Muzzammil was preoccupied with writing for newspapers or doing interviews on radio stations. And I told him this is not our thing,” Aasiya recalls. She wanted something exclusively for Muslims that Muslims could create and control. “I wanted something entertaining and informative that [would show] we’re not an alien species.”

She suggested a 24/7 cable television channel where Muslim families could turn for quality programming and non-Muslims could learn something about Islam. And just like that, the seed for Bridges TV, a developing Muslim television channel set to air in 2004, was planted.

Soon, BridgesTV became a thriving niche cable channel, avaliable on Verizon FiOS TV, Dish Network, Comcast Cable, Time Warner Cable, Globecast World TV, WOW! Cable, Buckeye Cable, Selco Cable and Cox Cable, with quality programmes such as this:

The channel was soon beset by a pretty familiar controversy. Like an Islamist version of Alex Jones’ Prison Planet, it began to broadcast a diet on kook, nuts, bigots and extremists. Khomeinist Imams. Paul Findlay. “Israel Shamir”. The usual suspects. Here’s MEMRI’s Steve Stalinsky on its output. And, if you dare, here are some articles on RENSE conspiracy theorising about the cancellation of a “pro-Palestinian” show (they blame “Jewish cable operators”, of course).

But that isn’t the end of the story.

Orchard Park police are investigating a particularly gruesome killing, the beheading of a woman, after her husband — an influential member of the local Muslim community — reported her death to police Thursday.

Police identified the victim as Aasiya Z. Hassan, 37. Detectives have charged her husband, Muzzammil Hassan, 44, with second-degree murder.

“He came to the police station at 6:20 p.m. [Thursday] and told us that she was dead,” Orchard Park Police Chief Andrew Benz said late this morning.

Muzzammil Hassan told police that his wife was at his business, Bridges TV, on Thorn Avenue in the village. Officers went to that location and discovered her body.

Muzzammil Hassan is the founder and chief executive officer of Bridges TV, which he launched in 2004, amid hopes that it would help portray Muslims in a more positive light.

The killing apparently occurred some time late Thursday afternoon. Detectives still are looking for the murder weapon.

“Obviously, this is the worst form of domestic violence possible,” Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III said today.

Authorities say Aasiya Hassan recently had filed for divorce from her husband.

“She had an order of protection that had him out of the home as of Friday the 6th [of February],” Benz said.

And to think, the best Islamist TV channels in the United Kingdom can manage is a convicted terrorist.

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