|Born||June 17, 1972|
|Died||February 12, 2009
Aasiya Zubair, also known as Aasiya Hassan (June 17, 1972 – February 12, 2009) was with her husband Muzzammil Hassan, the founder and owner of Bridges TV, the first American Muslim English-language television network. In February 2009, she was found dead, beheaded, at the Bridges TV station after her estranged husband turned himself in to a police station and was charged with second-degree murder.
Zubair was an architect by training. Worried by the negative perceptions of Muslims, she "felt there should be an American Muslim media where her kids could grow up feeling really strong about their identity as an American Muslim" and came up with the idea for Bridges TV. She also studied for an MBA at State University of New York College at Buffalo from 2007 to 2009.
Zubair was the focus of a cover story in the Vol. 3, Issue 2 (2003) issue of Azizah Magazine; her face graced the cover. Journalist Nadirah Sabir wrote about how Zubair conceived the idea of the nation's first Muslim television channel.
Muzzamill Hassan lured Zubair to the television studio where they worked together, on February 12, 2009. He attacked her with two hunting knives, stabbing her forty times and finally severing her head. Zubair had filed for divorce a week prior to her murder.
In addition to her pioneering work as a broadcaster, Zubair is being remembered as a catalyst for heightened awareness of the issue of domestic violence, especially in the North American Muslim community. Wajahat Ali, acclaimed playwright and founder of GoatMilk, wrote in The Guardian that "[t]he absolute brutality of Aasiya's murder has served as a clarion call to many American Muslims who have passionately responded to the tragedy with a resounding desire to confront this festering calamity." Imam Mohamed Hagmagid Ali, vice-president of The Islamic Society of North America, stated: "This is a wake up call to all of us, that violence against women is real and can not be ignored. It must be addressed collectively by every member of our community."
A nationwide, unified effort entitled "Imams Speak Out: Domestic Violence Will Not Be Tolerated in Our Communities" commenced in February 2009 asking all imams and religious leaders to discuss the Zubair murder, as well as domestic violence, in their weekly sermon on their Friday prayer services.
On February 7, 2011, Muzzammil Hassan was found guilty of second degree murder for beheading his wife of eight years, Aasiya Zubair. He was charged with 25 years to life imprisonment. He is currently serving time at the Clinton Correctional Facility, Dannemora.
In 2012, the first International Purple Hijab Day was celebrated to call attention to domestic violence against women. Alaa Murabit, founder of The Voice of Libyan Women, said that "Purple Hijab Day directly contests a Muslim's falsely perceived right to abuse a wife, daughter, mother, or sister." International Purple Hijab Day is celebrated the second Saturday in February in order to honor the memory of Zubair.
- "First American Muslim Television Channel Announced by Bridges Network". Al Jazzerah. 2 May 2003. Archived from the original on 9 December 2007. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
- Press Release: Bridges TV Debuts American Muslim Television Network in English Nationwide on November 30, 2004
- Brunswick, Deborah; Collins, LaNeice (16 February 2009). "Founder of Islamic TV Station Accused of Beheading Wife". CNN. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
- Robbins, Liz (17 February 2009). "Upstate Man Charged With Beheading His Estranged Wife". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
- Broughton, Ashley (17 February 2009). "Beheaded Woman's Sister: I Might Have Heard Deadly Confrontation". CNN. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
- "Cover". Azizah Magazine 3 (2). 2003. Archived from the original on 9 August 2009. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
- Sheridan, Michael (9 March 2011). "Muzzammil Hassan Gets 25 to Life for Beheading Wife, Aasiya Hassan". New York Daily News. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
- "Killers from WNY: Where They are Now". The Buffalo News. 9 June 2015. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
- Ali, Wajahat. "The Domestic Crusaders". The Domestic Crusaders. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
- Ali, Wajahat (19 February 2009). "A Wake-Up Call for the Community". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
- "American Muslims Call to Action to End Domestic Violence". Star Tribune. 20 February 2009. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
- Murabit, Alaa (14 March 2013). "In Libya, Islam - and a Purple Hijab - Help Spurn Domestic Violence Against Women". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
- Majeed, Hadayai (12 February 2013). "The Origin of The International Purple Hijab Day". Project Sakinah. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
- "Purple Hijab Day to Celebrate Annual Call for End to Domestic Violence". Libya Herald. 10 February 2015. Retrieved 15 August 2015.