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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Founder of Muslim TV station sentenced for wife's beheading in US

The founder of a TV station aimed at improving the image of Muslims in the US has been found guilty of beheading his wife and was sentenced Wednesday to 25 years in prison.
Pakistan-born Muzzammil Hassan and his wife Aasiya founded Bridges TV in 2004 when US attitudes towards Muslims were at an all-time low following the Sep 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the country's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
They hoped that by portraying the positive culture and heritage of the more than eight million Muslims living in the US, they would counter the negative stereotypes that were prevalent among many Americans.
But the ambitious couple ended up only reinforcing those stereotypes when their marriage fell apart.
In February 2009, five days after Aasiya informed Hassan that she would seek a divorce, the TV executive went to a police station in Buffalo New York and told police that his wife was dead.
Police found her decapitated body and the long knife used to kill her in Hassan's office. Hassan admitted to killing her but claimed that he had acted in self-defence.
"I deeply regret that things came down to what they came down to," Hassan said in court on Wednesday according to BuffaloNews.com.
In Wednesday's sentencing in Erie County Court in upstate New York, Judge Thomas Franczyk said he had no doubt that the murder was a "premeditated act of violence".
"Justice demands that you receive nothing less than the maximum possible sentence," the judge said, according to the report.

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