The Washington Post

Verizon plans to drop Muslim TV network

Verizon, the national cable television operator, has decided to drop Bridges TV, a pioneering television network that seeks to challenge stereotypes of Muslims and create understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims.

Verizon is the main distributor for Bridges TV, which was launched in 2004 and relies on Verizon to reach 19 of its 26 markets, including Los Angeles, metro New York, Dallas and Washington, D.C.

“It will make it very difficult for us to be able to stay on the air for much longer,” said Hunaid Baliwala, general manager of Bridges TV, which is headquartered outside Buffalo in Orchard Park, N.Y., and is also available online.

On Thursday (Feb. 23), Bridges TV started sending emails to supporters asking them to tell Verizon to keep Bridges on the air.

The network was founded by Buffalo investment banker Muzzammil Hassan at the urging of his wife Aasiya Zubair. Last year, Hassan was convicted of murdering and beheading his wife in 2009, six days after she had filed for divorce.

During the trial, Hassan claimed he was a battered spouse and the victim of rumors spread by his estranged wife. Jurors, however, convicted him in less than an hour; a judge sentenced him to 25 years to life in prison.

Baliwala said Verizon decided to drop Bridges about two weeks ago, citing low viewership. But Baliwala said he had met with Verizon several times in the past, and that viewership was never raised as a problem.

Baliwala said he asked Verizon to share their viewer data, but the company so far has declined the request. A call seeking comment from Verizon was not returned.

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Universal Uclick.

Show Comments

Sign up for email updates from the "Confronting the Caliphate" series.

You have signed up for the "Confronting the Caliphate" series.

Thank you for signing up
You'll receive e-mail when new stories are published in this series.
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.