(New Jersey): The
American pastor who drew international criticism by threatening to
burn a copy of the Qur’an has ended up with an unlikely reward — a
At the height of the controversy, New Jersey car dealer Brad
Benson offered Florida pastor Terry Jones a 2011 Hyundai Accent
worth $14,200, if he would not fulfill his promise to burn copies
of the Muslim holy book on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001,
terror attacks. The Pastor, following widespread criticism and
personal intervention by top US leaderships cancelled his plan.
The pastor will have to pick up the car at Brad Benson Mitsubishi
Hyundai in South Brunswick, New Jersey, so he can fill out
paperwork. No date has been set for the handover.
Benson, a former center for the New York Giants football team,
said he originally offered Jones use of a car for a year if he
refused to go ahead with his plan.
“I just didn’t think that was a good thing for our country right
now,” Associated Press quoted Benson.
He’s now giving Jones the car outright because he doesn’t want to
be connected to whatever the Florida pastor does with it.
“I don’t want to be involved in the politics of that,” Benson
Before he made his decision, Benson asked listeners on radio to weigh in on
whether he should honor his promise.
More than 2,600 people responded by phone and e-mail, and the vast
majority, Benson said, urged him to keep his word.
One caller suggested painting sayings from various religious books
— the Qur’an, the Talmud, the King James Bible — on the car.
“What you didn’t say was what the car was going to look like when
you gave it to him,” the caller said.
Another caller told Benson to “be a man” and keep his promise. And
some encouraged Benson to pick his own charity to get a car.
In 2003, Benson offered another newsmaker — Saddam Hussein — a new
car if he fled Iraq. That commercial wasn’t as successful, and
Benson pulled the ad after two days, replacing it with one
apologizing for any offense that was taken.
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