The founder of an Islamic television network that aims to dispel negative stereotypes of Muslims in the U.S. has been charged with beheading his estranged wife in what some have speculated could be an honor killing, according to reports.
Muzzammil Hassan, 44, confessed to the brutal slaying of his 37-year-old estranged wife moments after he beheaded the mother of two of his children in the office of the television station where they both worked near Buffalo, N.Y., cops said.
The couple had a history of domestic violence and Hassan's wife, Aasiya Hassan, filed for divorce on Jan.6 after eight years of marriage. She kicked him out of their Orchard Park, N.Y., home in early February after filing an order of protection.
There was speculation that the brutal slaying may have been an honor killing since some Muslim men consider divorce a dishonor to their family, the Buffalo News reported today.
"Too many Muslim men are using their religious beliefs to justify violence against women," the New York state president of the National Organization for Women, Marcia Pappas, charged in the newspaper account.
Others in the same report debunked the idea and said only "fanatical" believers justified honor killings.
Hassan helped launch what was considered the first English-speaking, Muslim-oriented cable channel in the U.S. in 2004. Both he and his wife worked at the station.
A statement on the station's website says "Bridges TV is deeply shocked and saddened by the murder of Aasiya [Zubair] Hassan and the subsequent arrest of Muzzammil Hassan. Our deepest condolences and prayers go out to the families of the victim."