The founder of an Islamic television station in upstate New York aimed at countering Muslim stereotypes has confessed to beheading his wife, authorities said.
Muzzammil Hassan was charged with second-degree murder after police found the decapitated body of his wife, Aasiya Hassan, at the Bridges TV station in the Buffalo suburb of Orchard Park, said Andrew Benz, Orchard Park’s police chief. Hassan was arrested Thursday. His wife filed for divorce January 6, and police had responded to several domestic violence calls at the couple’s home, Benz said. Hassan went directly to the police station after his wife’s death and confessed to killing her, Benz told CNN. Benz declined to give further details. Attempts to reach an attorney for Hassan were unsuccessful, and his family didn’t return calls from CNN. He had two children, 4 and 6, with his wife. He had two other children, 17 and 18, from his previous marriage.
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He launched Bridges TV, billed as the first English-language cable channel targeting Muslims inside the United States, in 2004. At the time, Hassan said he hoped the network would balance negative portrayals of Muslims following the attacks of September 11, 2001. The station’s staff is “deeply shocked and saddened by the murder of Aasiya Hassan and the subsequent arrest of Muzzammil Hassan,” a statement from Bridges TV said. “Our deepest condolences and prayers go out to the families of the victim,” the statement said.