Wednesday, February 18, 2009


It seemed like such a good idea at the time: just after 9/11, a Muslim professional couple from Buffalo, New York, decided to found a cable television station to counter-act negative images of Muslims for an English-speaking audience in the United States. Muzzammil Hassan and his wife Aasiya started "Bridges TV". They created some of their own programming and purchased other content, at first running the station out of their home but eventually developing it into a going concern with its own studios and offices. There is ample photographic evidence of the couple as articulate, seemingly westernized people with good intentions and a successful business partnership. Here's a feature on their enterprise as seen on NBC in 2004:

But somewhere along the line things went horribly wrong, not with Bridges TV but with the Hassans' relationship. Aasiya Hassan had filed for divorce and gotten a protection order to keep her husband out of their home, where she lived with their two small children. Nothing too remarkable about any of this -- not even that remarkable that there were accusations of domestic violence. Happens every day.

What is perhaps more newsworthy than usual is Mr. Hassan's chosen resolution of his troubles. In a fit of truly extraordinary domestic pique, he separated Aasiya's head from the rest of her. He left the body in the TV studio, reported to the police station, and has been charged with SECOND DEGREE murder.


Well, we can only hope that once the evidence is fully gathered, the charge will reflect the deed a bit more accurately. And in time we'll hear how he pleads, and know whether we'll have to insert "alleged" into the account. Good luck with that, fella.

At least he'll have one big plus on his side: media are already doing their level best to dance away from any narrowly applicable terminology like "honor killing", and are dos-y-doe-ing their way into the standard vocabulary of "domestic abuse." Keep moving, folks -- nothing to see here.

Mark Steyn, columnist to the world and crusader for free speech among primitive tribes of the far north (Toronto), weighs in over at NRO's the Corner. Money quotes:

Pay no attention to that dead body; the real victim here is Islam...

Beheaded woman in Buffalo? "Shocked friend says murder damages Islam's image."

But enough about all these corpses: Let's talk about me...

...when Mr. Hassan launched his Bridges TV station to counter "negative stereotypes" of Muslims, he got the traditional tongue baths from NBC's Brian Williams, NPR's "All Things Considered" et al - even though the station was entirely unwatched. Don't they have a responsibility to revisit the story now that it's got a little more complicated - or, as old-school editors would say, "newsworthy"?

If you're not intrigued by the apparent fraud at the heart of this man's life and work — a fraud in which the U.S. media cheerfully colluded — you lack the elementary curiosity necessary to be a journalist.

Yeah -- what he said.

Are we wrapping our heads around this, my fellow Americans?

It's the 21st century, in the Last Best Hope of the world, and a woman was effin' BEHEADED. In the same town where the Sabres play hockey and beef on weck is the favourite snack, and just down the road from where Marilyn Monroe shot "Niagara" -- that film where a garden-variety jealous husband strangles his wife, now that I think of it. Nasty, evil, but (dare I say it?) still something distant from decapitation on the barbarism scale.