US Muslim Television Channel Founder Charged With Beheading His Wife - TV station founded to counter Muslim stereotypes of violence
You don't normally hear about beheadings in the United States.
But perhaps you should prepare yourself to hear more about them in the future.
The day before Valentine's Day, which has always been a holiday associated with maximum repression against women in the Islamic world, a Muslim TV executive in New York decapitated his wife.
Mo Hassan, founder of Bridges TV, a station whose mission was "fostering understanding between cultures and diverse populations," cut off the head of his wife, Aasiya Hassan, 37, who had recently filed for divorce.
Mo Hassan wanted to portray Muslims in a more positive light. That was the goal of his TV station.
My guess is he never reported how common beheading is in his former homeland of Pakistan or throughout the Islamic world.
Just a week ago, Taliban terrorists in that country beheaded a Polish geologist abducted in an effort to arrange a prisoner swap.
An American U.N. worker, John Solecki, is currently facing a similar fate at the hands of Islamic terrorists in that country.
Terrorists in Pakistan video recorded the beheading of American reporter Daniel Pearl.
Terrorists in Iraq video recorded the beheading of American Nicholas Berg.
Beheading is a common form of execution in Saudi Arabia.
Beheading is a common way to conduct a so-called "honor killing" – the murder of a wife – throughout the Islamic world.
The question Americans need to consider very carefully is whether they want this kind of "cultural diversity" in their country.
Who was behind Bridges TV? Some familiar names:
Nihad Awad, executive director of the controversial Council on American-Islamic Relations
Iman W. Deen Muhammad, president of the American Society of Muslims
NBA star Hakeem Olajuwon
When the station was founded, Awad emphasized the importance of North American Muslims having "our own media outlets, our own timing and our own kind of programming."
"Therefore, we can decide what kind of messages we send out," he said.
CAIR's communications director, Ibrahim Hooper, said Bridges TV "is just an example of the growing maturity and sophistication of the American Muslim community that people are even at this stage where we can contemplate this kind of network."
"So I think it's a good sign for the community, and we encourage everyone to support it," he said.
Perhaps you'd like to explore the kind of programming Hassan offered before he was charged with second-degree murder. The Middle East Media Research Institute had monitored Bridges TV to see just what kind of bridges were being built:
One religious figure who appeared Oct. 3 said Muslims have a duty to change America and to increase their numbers to 50 percent of the population from 2 percent. He recommended that Shariah, or Islamic law, be implemented in American courts.
During a roundtable discussion on the Arab-Israeli conflict Oct. 5, one participant offered a solution: "For the Jews to leave and return to Europe."
Bridges TV aired a speech by the influential Muslim scholar Jamal Badawi on Oct. 4. Badawi, who teaches Islam throughout North America, gave an interview to the Saudi Gazette June 24, 2005, in which he raised questions about who was behind the 9/11 attacks and suggested that Americans could be behind the car bombings of Iraqi markets.
Every night, Bridges TV showed a news program, "Talking Points." Its guest Oct. 4 was Imam Mohammad Alo Elahi, whom it described as a leading "interfaith figure." According to his own website, Imam Elahi was a spiritual leader in Ayatollah Khomeini's Iranian navy and also is the leader of "one of the largest mosques in the U.S.," in Dearborn, Mich. The site also describes his meetings with world leaders and shows photographs of him with the spiritual adviser of Hezbollah, Ayatollah Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah; Ayatollah Khomeini; two more recent leaders of Iran and Louis Farrakhan.
Throughout the day, Bridges TV aired segments of Quranic verses, quite a few of which denounce "unbelievers." One notable verse that aired Oct. 9 praised martyrdom.
During the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, the channel showed official, Saudi government-controlled Wahhabi sermons from Mecca's holiest mosque, Al-Haram. The sermons streamed live via Saudi TV Channel, one every day at 4 p.m., and Bridges TV added its own English subtitles. An anti-Jewish, anti-Christian sermon from Oct. 5 included the call, "May God destroy them!"