Muzzammil Hassan came to America from Pakistan 25 years ago. He became a successful banker in Buffalo, New York, near the famed Niagara Falls.
While he and his wife were happy to be in the United States, they were upset by the negative perceptions of Muslims, and particularly how this perception might affect their children.
That is how they came up with the idea of Bridges TV. Mr. Hassan’s wife challenged him to start it.
“I had no background in television. I didn’t know anything about TV. Her comment was, ‘you have an M.B.A. (masters degree in business) why don’t you write a business plan?’”
He quit his job at the bank and for the next three years worked developing an English language television network that offers news and entertainment for Muslims. Stonings, beheadings, car bombings perhaps?
Hassan hopes Bridges TV lives up to its name by uniting American Muslims and by helping non-Muslims overcome the negative images they may have of both Muslims and Islam.
That was in 2004. Now, five years later, as far as I know, Muzzamil is still concerned about “negative perceptions” of Muslims held by Americans.
But his wife has no worries in that department. In fact, she has no worries at all.
Orchard Park police are investigating the gruesome killing, the beheading of a woman, after her husband — an influential member of the local Muslim community — reported her death to police Thursday, Feb. 12.
Police identified the victim as Aasiya Z. Hassan, 37. Detectives 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. This unfortunate incident will not help.
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.
Muzzammil Hassan was arraigned before Village Justice Deborah Chimes and sent to the Erie County Holding Center.
It’s too bad the order of protection was useless. A 12 gage Mossberg shotgun would have been a much better thing to do than waste time on a restraining order.