Fahmy, Dalia
October 2003
Middle East;Oct2003, Issue 338, p56
A group of U.S. entrepreneurs unhappy with some of television images they and their children are exposed to have taken matters into their own hands by attempting to launch a new Muslim network. Seven million Muslims live in the United States, and as American television becomes more explicitly sexual, violent and in some cases hostile toward their faith, Muslims complain it is getting difficult to find programmes they feel comfortable with. Muzammil Hassan, a Pakistani Muslim who immigrated to the U.S. with his parents wants to fill the gap. Pressed by his wife Assiya Zubair, who conceived the idea while listening to a fiercely anti-Muslim radio programme, Hassan is building the country's first Muslim television network, Bridges TV. Hassan remains optimistic that Bridges can start broadcasting as planned in September 2004. Advertisers, always chasing after young consumers who are believed to hold a disproportionate sway over the country's disposable income, will be drawn to the youthfulness of the Muslim population: roughly two-thirds of adult American Muslims are younger than 40. For Bridges, the challenge will be to differentiate itself by striking a balance between programming that is Islamic in essence but universal enough to keep a diverse and growing population of Muslim Americans entertained.


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