South Brunswick, New Jersey: An American pastor, Terry Jones, who drew international criticism by threatening to burn a copy of the Quran has ended up with an unlikely reward-a free car.
At the height of the controversy, New Jersey car dealer Brad Benson offered Florida pastor Terry Jones a 2011 Hyundai Accent worth USD 14,200, if he would not fulfil his promise to burn the Muslim holy book on the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.
In the end, Jones didn't burn the Quran, which probably would have outraged Muslims around the world. But he told The Associated Press yesterday that the offer Benson had made in one of his dealership's quirky radio ads was not the reason.
Jones said he only heard about it a few weeks after September 11. However, that delay hasn't stopped the pastor from Gainesville, Florida, from wanting to collect the prize.
Benson said he was surprised when a representative for Jones called to collect the car.
"They said unless I was doing false advertising, they would like to arrange to pick up the car," Benson recalled.
At first he thought it was a hoax, so Benson asked Jones to send in a copy of his driver's license. He did.
Jones said he plans to donate the car to an organisation that helps abused Muslim women.
"We are not trying to profit from this. We are not keeping the car for ourselves," Jones said by telephone from California, where he was taping television appearances.
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.