Bridges TV Had Ties To Both U.S. Muslim Brotherhood And U.S. Government

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Further details are available on connections between the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, the U.S. government, and an Islamic cable TV station whose founder has been charged in the beheading of his wife. As reported yesterday by the New York Times:

A man who founded a Muslim-American television station to help fight Muslim stereotypes is to appear on Wednesday in a suburban Buffalo court on charges that he decapitated his wife last week. The man, Muzzammil Hassan, 44, went to a police station in Orchard Park, N.Y., on Thursday to report that his wife, Aasiya Zubair Hassan, was dead, Chief Andrew Benz said on Tuesday. Mr. Hassan told the police that her body could be found in the nearby office of the television station, Bridges TV. The police later arrested him on charges of second-degree murder, Chief Benz said.

According to investigative research posted on GMBDW, in April 2004 national media reported on the start-up of Bridges TV, described as “the first English-language cable television channel aimed at U.S. and Canadian Muslims.” The report indicated that the programming was available on satellite and internet and had plans to expand to cable. Chairman of Bridges TV was identified as Muzzammil Hassan, said to be a Pakistani-born ex-banker with no television industry experience who got the idea from his wife after she listened to a radio program with “a sharp, derogatory tone against Muslims.” The report described Bridges programming as ranging from “Koranic and Islamic religious content to news, documentaries, soap operas and shows geared toward women and children, in a bid to reflect many facets of life.” In April 2006, a press release stated that Bridges TV had “transitioned from a premium pay channel to basic cable on several cable and satellite systems.”

At the time of it’s founding, the station’s website suggested that it’s “legitimacy” could be checked with five individuals, three of whom are associated with the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood”

  • Souheil Ghannouchi (Muslim American Society)
  • Nihad Awad (Council on American Islamic Relations)
  • Aleem Rahman (President & CEO of IslamiCity.com)

In addition, the website also identified Dr. Sulayman Nyang of Howard University, closely tied to the U.S. Brotherhood, as a member of its board.

The Bridges TV at one time also featured a program called “Prominent Scholars” with the following individuals as part of this programming:

  • Rasha al-Disuqi (Al-Azhar University)
  • Jamal Badawi (U.S. Muslim Brotherhood)
  • John Espositio (Georgetown University)
  • Siraj Wahaj (U.S. Muslim Brotherhood)
  • Abdullah Idris (U.S. Muslim Brotherhood)

At it’s inception, the station website claimed a relationship with the U.S. State Department and Voice of America”:

We believe that the United States of America is the most accommodating country in the world. We have briefed the U.S. State Department and have had several good meetings with them in Washington DC We have also met a few times with some of the members of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the overseeing body over Voice of America and Radio Sawa. We have consistently received positive feedback. Comments from Mr. Stuart Holliday, media assistant to Secretary of State Colin Powell are listed on our web site.

In April 2006, Bridges TV reported that it would be hosting the first nationally televised “townhall meeting” for Muslim and Arab-Americans in cooperation with the FBI and the State Department. According to the press release, the program was to be moderated by the Ohio Director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR):

Paul Moskal, the Chief Legal Counsel for the FBI, will be taking direct questions from Middle Eastern and South Asian Americans from around the United States on national television, exclusively on Bridges TV. This historic event will re-broadcast worldwide via US State Department television. This first-of-its-kind townhall meeting on national television will be moderated by Adnan Mirza, a director of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest civil liberties organization for Muslim Americans.

A Reuters report at the time cited Mr. Moskal’s rationale for holding the meeting which included overcoming mutual “misconceptions”, fostering cooperation, and facilitating recruitment for the FBI:

Paul Moskal, chief division counsel for the FBI in Buffalo, New York, who will lead the meeting and field questions, said the agency and the Arab and Muslim American communities needed to overcome misconceptions about each other and foster closer cooperation. “What we want to do is let the public know that the FBI has changed its mission after September 11, that our number one priority is the detection and prevention of another terrorist act. If someone in the public can help us accomplish that, that’s our purpose,” Moskal told Reuters on Wednesday. The meeting will be broadcast on Bridges TV, an independent, commercial U.S. television network broadcasting lifestyle and culture programs around the clock for a primarily Muslim American audience. The televised meeting is also part of efforts to encourage Muslim and Arab Americans to report instances of post-September 11 backlash, intimidation, racism or harassment so the agency can enforce their civil rights, Moskal said. A third reason for the townhall meeting was that “we need more Arab Americans, we need more Muslim Americans as FBI agents and as FBI employees. So we use it to recruit as well,” he said. …Moskal said the FBI had long conducted local townhall meetings, at which agents make contact with citizens and answer questions about their work, in a broad range of ethnic, religious and other communities throughout the United States. But he said Thursday’s session was the first nationally televised event targeting Muslim and Arab Americans.Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations which is moderating the television program, said, “It’s important to keep the lines of communication open, for the FBI to understand the Muslim community better and for American Muslims to better understand law enforcement agencies.” YU.S. officials acknowledge they must do more to involve Muslim Americans in counterterrorism efforts. But they say the administration is already actively cooperating with Muslim groups and say they enjoy greater access to the government than ever before.

Documents released in the Holy Land Trial have revealed that the founders and current leaders of CAIR were part of the Palestine Committee of the Muslim Brotherhood as well as identifying the organization itself as being part of the U.S. Brotherhood. A recent post discussed an interview with the Deputy leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in which he confirms a relationship between his organization and CAIR. Investigative research posted on GMBDW had established that CAIR had it origins in the U.S. Hamas infrastructure and is an integral part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood with a long history of support for fundamentalism, anti-Semitism, and terrorism. Numerous earlier posts have reported on the relationship between the FBI and CAIR but however, as discussed in a previous post, it has been reported that the FBI has recently cut off contact with CAIR as a result of the group’s origins in what was described as a “Hamas-support network.”

According to a recent media report Mr. Moskal, the former FBI chief counsel in Buffalo, had developed a personal relationship with the now imprisoned Bridges TV founder Muzzammil Hassan:

“I’ve never heard him raise his voice,” said Paul Moskal, who became friendly with the couple while he was chief counsel for the FBI in Buffalo. Moskal would answer questions in forums aired on Bridges TV that were intended to improve understanding between Muslim-Americans and law enforcement.”His personal life kind of betrayed what he tried to portray publicly,” Moskal said.

As numerous posts have discussed, the U.S. State Department is continuing it’s programs in support of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.

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