02.20.09 7:23 PM ET
Beheading Case Goes to Court
In a Daily Beast exclusive, Asra Q. Nomani reports that lawyers for the Muslim woman allegedly murdered in a brutal attack by her husband are trying to prevent him from hiding assets from their two surviving children. View the court documents here.
The estate of Aasiya Hassan, the Muslim mother of two who was allegedly murdered and beheaded last week at the hands of her husband, Muzzammil Hassan, is seeking to prevent her husband from hiding his assets from their children.
Today, a Buffalo, N.Y., judge met the request, and agreed to temporarily freeze $2.5 million worth of assets and property held by Hassan and Bridges Network Inc., the American-Muslim TV channel the couple operated.
Aasiya Hassan’s estate is trying to preserve the couple’s assets for their two surviving children: their 6-year-old son Danyal, and their 4-year-old daughter, Rania. In a statement to the court yesterday, an attorney at HoganWillig, an Amherst, N.Y., law firm retained by Aasiya Hassan before her death to represent her in a divorce filing against her husband, claimed there is reason to believe that Muzzammil Hassan could try to prevent the children from collecting funds. The filings also allege a long history of violence between Hassan and his wife.
Last week, Orchard Park, N.Y., police said Muzzammil Hassan, 44, had arrived at the station and told them that they could find the body of his murdered wife, 37, at Bridges offices. Hassan has been charged with second degree murder, and is currently in jail. No bail has been set.
The murder has sent shock waves through the American Muslim community. The Hassans were prominent entrepreneurs who started their television network in an effort to improve the image of Islam after September 11, 2001. Community activists pressed preachers to dedicate their Friday sermons today to the issue of domestic violence.
In his statement, the estate’s attorney alleges that Muzzammil Hassan had a lengthy history of domestic violence and was “the subject of numerous complaints to various police agencies for violence” toward Aasiya Hassan and his children from a prior marriage.
On February 6, six days before her murder, Aasiya Hassan had filed for divorce. The recent filings refer to a previous effort by Aasiya Hassan to freeze her husband’s assets.
A formal lawsuit with more specific claims is likely to follow. The filing say the estate will "file a summons and complaint pursuing causes of action for assault, battery, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, pain, suffering, and wrongful death," as well as other issues.
The case is filed as Acea Mosey, administrator for the estate of Aasiya Hassan, v. Hassan and Bridges Network. Mosey had retained HoganWillig, the filing said, to pursue claims on behalf of the estate.
A hearing is set for March 2.
Asra Q. Nomani is the author of Standing Alone: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam. She can be reached at email@example.com