Did Muslim TV Exec Mislead Everyone?
Guess I've just been in a research mode but following up on Michelle Malkin's post, there appear to be some interesting discrepancies behind the real story of Bridges TV from what our own media portrayed and most believed.
Do you think this will get as much attention from the MSM as, say, the Ted Haggard scandal or Pat Robertson’s Teletubbies remarks?
In it, she links to this piece by Daniel Pipes with great background on Bridges TV. But some interesting questions remain unanswered.
Feb. 13, 2009 update: One hasn't heard too much of Bridges TV in the past 2+ years, presumably because its once-shimmering prospects declined under the weight of the realities of North American demographics.
While fund raising questions I've discovered interest me more, let's briefly get demography out of the way. Scroll down if it isn't of interest. But I was surprised to find that no one can actually say how many immigrant Muslims there are in the US today with any confidence at all.
From a 2004 release:
Broadcasting from Buffalo, NY, Bridges TV will be subscriber and advertiser supported and will target primarily the 8 million Muslims of North America in English.
In 2003 it was impossible to pinpoint how many Muslims there were in America and that hasn't changed. See this Washington Times piece on America's Arab population, it deals with the US Muslim population as well.
The highest figures always seem to appear from Muslim sources relying on private survey's contracted through Zogby by Muslim councils and groups. Not that there's been many of them, but their private nature likely explains why they don't seem to be on his site. Additionally, anywhere from 25 to 40 percent of US Muslims are Blacks who converted. Bottom-line, if you want to know the domestic population of Muslims who immigrated, you can guess – or simply make one up. Zogby's 2000 release here doesn't offer a number. This is from the 2004 release linked above.
According to a Zogby 2000 survey, the American Muslim population of 7 million is expected to more than double to 15 million in the next ten years.
Cornell references the 7 million US number here(1 million in Canada) based on Zogby's 2000 survey. In August this year USA Today addressed questions of credibility on Muslim population estimates but drew no real conclusions. The best answer is, we don't know if Bridges TV's demographics were sound. I have concerns their fund raising was not.
The venture boasted these numbers upon launch. But they aren't expressed as they were in the Muslim press.
With U.S. funding from more than 50 investors; Ropart Asset Management, a Connecticut-based private equity fund; more than 10,000 paying members and 50,000 pledged subscribers; Bridges TV is well-positioned for its historic launch.
But he seems to have eventually opted to do his fund raising in Jeddah and or Saudi Arabia, not the US.
“The idea of Bridges TV came about soon after 9/11,” Hassan told Arab News in Jeddah during a recent fund-raising drive for the network.
Interesting that he would claim 10,000 "paying members" above in context of this quote.
“We wrote up a business plan,” he said, “and then 10,000 Muslims pitched in with $100 each. Then there were 100 doctors who put in another $10,000 each. That is how we got our couple of million dollars as seed capital, and that is how we more or less got started.
The guy likes round numbers and eventually wanted five million. But not from the US.
Hassan is now raising the money to take the fledgling network to the next level. “Now we are expanding the network,” he said. “So in order to fund that growth we are in the process of raising $5 million. There are about one million shares of $5 each. We were in Saudi Arabia talking to different people about doing the fund-raising. The minimum investment is $25,000.”
And so says the alleged behead-er, if not Honor Killer:
The level of ignorance regarding Muslims and Islam is very high in the United States and it will take a lot of time for non-Muslim Americans to realize that they and their Muslim neighbors share many of the same values — raising families, pursuing careers and finding peace.”
Don't look for these quotes of his to be circulated much now. Wouldn't want to taint the jury pool and all that.
In its promotional material, the network quotes leading figures such as Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, saying, "Islam is the religion of our enemies," and the Rev. Franklin Graham, calling Islam a "wicked and evil religion."
"American Muslims saw their entire faith hijacked as the perpetrators of these murders claimed Islam as their religion," the fledgling company said. "The Muslim victims were not only the 358 innocent souls that perished that day, but the entire 7 million American Muslims."
Some analysts believe the U.S. has considerably fewer Muslims, perhaps as few as 2 million, but the venture's founders believe they have an audience among rapidly growing Muslims and "mainstream" Americans….
Despite his success, Amanat said as a Muslim he never felt fully accepted on Wall Street.
Hopefully he'll be accepted better in prison where he belongs.