Muzzammil Hassan started Bridges TV in part to counter Muslim stereotypes. Instead, people are debating whether his brutal alleged murder of his wife was an Islamic honor killing.

There is no question the killing was terrible. It apparently took place at the Buffalo, New York offices of the cable network, the first English-language channel for Muslim Americans. Police said they went there under direction from Hassan. They found Aasiya Hassan's body was found lying in an office hallway. The head was nearby.

A National Organization for Women officer called the killing "apparently a terroristic version of 'honor killing.'" A local Muslim community leader and the Bridges news director disputed that, saying it was a simple domestic violence case.

America's anti-Muslim bigots, including those who dogged Barack Obama's presidential campaign, are unlikely to debate the nuances of the case.

Nor are everyday Americans, unfortunately, given Bridges' small reach. Which is too bad; after Al Jazeera English lost its top American anchor in March in part over "signs off anti-Americanism creeping into the coverage," there's been a need for a network that could credibly bridge Western and Middle Eastern cultures and make Arab television something other than a punchline to a media joke.

(Pictures: AP, Bridges TV)