Back in 2004, Buffalo natives Muzzammil and Aasiya Hassan started a satellite channel called Bridges TV to improve the image of Muslims in America:
Less than 30 minutes before Muzzammil “Mo” Hassan repeatedly stabbed and killed his wife, Aasiya, he exchanged a series of text messages with her, telling her he recognized his mistakes and would change for her.
“Sorry for hurting you,” he texted her around 5:30 p.m.
“I am sorry, too,” Aasiya replied.
Hassan sent his wife the messages from a darkened office at their Bridges TV studio where he waited for her with shiny new hunting knives with 5 3/4-inch blades, according to prosecution testimony and evidence…
At 5:42 p.m., he sent her his last text message.
“I am a good man, Aasiya,” he wrote. “A good and decent man. Please don’t punish me so hard. God like [sic] forgiveness.”
Aasiya arrived with her children at the studio parking lot in Orchard Park 10 minutes later. A few minutes after that, she lay on her back in a darkened hallway, dead.
And now? The BBC:
A jury found Pakistan-born Muzzammil Hassan guilty of second-degree murder in the 2009 death of Aasiya Hassan six days after she filed for divorce.
Hassan never denied killing her but said she had abused him and that he had acted in self-defence. He served as his own lawyer during the three-week trial.
Scoff all you want at his claim that beheading someone was an act of self-defense, but consider this: she was a woman.
As horrible as Muzzammil’s crime is, he has indeed played a role towards a better understanding between America and Islam. At least among the Americans who have been paying attention. Say, has Brian Williams ever done a follow-up? You’d think this would be a pretty significant update to that feel-good story.
And there’s nothing about the murder, or the fact that Muzzammil and Aasiya ever existed, on the Bridges TV site. (That’s right, the channel is still in operation.) Some things are simply unspinnable.