By Ralph Hipp
I may be going out on a limb revealing that I'm from Gainesville, Florida.. normally this time of the year, the hot weather gets a little cooler. Everybody is talking about Florida Gator football. But this week of 9/11 and Patriot Day, they're all talking about and watching Gainesville pastor Terry Jones. His Dove World Outreach Center, with its congregation of 50 people has something a little hotter than the Florida- University of South Florida game this September 11th. He is "reconsidering" a Quran burning protest this weekend.
I have seen quite a bit of angry protests emanating from Topeka; but I never thought I'd see something like that in Gainesville, where the people are more free thinking, and "live and let live" than most.
Pastor Jones says there's "just something wrong" in America allowing a free rein for readers of the Koran (Quran) to follow their faith as if nothing had happened nine years ago. Thursday afternoon, Jones announced instead of burning the books on Saturday, he would fly to New York to negotiate a move of the controversial mosque site near Ground Zero, with the New York Imam Faisal Rauf. This sadly turned out to be his delusion that he alone would move mountains, or least move the mosque near Ground Zero. The Central Florida Imam he's been talking with to avert the crisis this Saturday, said he only offered to broker a negotiation with Faisal. There was never "any deal" he says, to have the mosque site moved away from where the Twin Towers stood 9 years ago today.
Until 9/11 happened.
From the preacher in north Florida to the highest echelons of the Obama Administration, we have heard loud and clear about this protest. Attorney General Eric Holder calls the book burning idea "idiotic and dangerous." General David Petraeus says there's no doubt the news coverage surrounding this will put America's soldiers serving in the Afghan war "in harm's way." And Secretary Hillary Clinton asked if reporters could refrain from covering the burning "as an act of patriotism." (Several media outlets said they were not planning on being there to cover it.)
This story is not over yet, so stay tuned to CBS and 13 News, and keep reading the latest on wibw.com. There will be more. Ralph