September 8th, 2010
02:02 PM ET

Wednesday's intriguing people

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and Pastor Terry Jones

Two spiritual leaders plan to go ahead with actions that have sparked worldwide debate. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf will talk with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien on Wednesday evening about his decision to move ahead with the controversial Cordoba House, a community center and mosque to be built within blocks of New York’s ground zero. Meanwhile, Pastor Terry Jones told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Tuesday night that his congregation will probably continue with its plan to burn copies of the Quran on Saturday, the ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

Both men have faced fierce criticism for their decisions. Rauf’s efforts have resulted in protests on the streets of New York and media attention on a global scale. Jones has reported death threats and has been told that Gen. David Petraeus believes the action at the 50-member Dove World Outreach Church in Gainesville, Florida, could cause harm to U.S. troops overseas. On Tuesday, protesters in Afghanistan reportedly burned an effigy of Jones.

In an opinion piece in the New York Times on Wednesday morning, Rauf described the center as a recreational facility with prayer spaces for not only Muslims but Christians and Jews as well. The name comes from a Spanish city where Muslims, Christians and Jews thrived culturally during the Middle Ages, he explained. “Our initiative is intended to cultivate understanding among all religions and cultures,” he said.

Jones told Anderson Cooper that his church is weighing its options, but he is inclined to follow through with the Quran-burning. “We are simply burning a book,” Jones said. “General [Petraeus] needs to point his finger to radical Islam and tell them to shut up, tell them to stop, tell them that we will not bow our knees to them.”

In May 2009, 15 Afghan citizens were killed and many more injured after Newsweek magazine reported that U.S. military interrogators flushed a Quran down a toilet. The report was later retracted.

CNN: Pastor weighing plans to burn Qurans amid U.S. warnings

NY Times: Building on faith

Michael Bloomberg

The New York mayor - who supports the Islamic community center being located near ground zero - also affirmed the right of Pastor Terry Jones' Florida church to burn copies of the Quran on Saturday.

"In a strange way, I'm here to defend his right to do that," Bloomberg said Tuesday. "I happen to think that it is distasteful. I don't think he would like it if somebody burnt a book that in his religion he thinks is holy. ... But the First Amendment protects everybody."

WSJ: Bloomberg defends pastor's right to burn Qurans

Richard Daley and Rahm Emanuel

After 21 years in office and more than four decades of leadership by a Richard Daley, the Chicago mayor has announced that he will not seek a seventh term. The decision shocked many and immediately brought speculation about what it might mean for Chicago-born White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

“Simply put, it's time," Daley said Tuesday. "Time for me, it's time for Chicago to move on."

The 68-year-old Democrat is the son of the iconic Chicago mayor also named Richard Daley, who died in his 21st year in office. After taking the job in 1989, the younger Daley was easily re-elected to five more terms. This year, however, he faced dismal approval ratings and a $655 million budget shortfall, reported Chicago Breaking News.

Personal issues had also come to the forefront. His wife is being treated for metastatic breast cancer that has spread to her legs and made it difficult for her to walk. She was at his side Tuesday.
Emanuel expressed his shock in a statement released Tuesday, while the White House downplayed any notion of him leaving for Chicago. Still, an April interview with Charlie Rose has fed speculation about Emanuel’s plans. "I hope Mayor Daley seeks re-election," Emanuel told Rose at the time. "I will work and support him if he seeks re-election. But if Mayor Daley doesn't, one day I would like to run for mayor of the city of Chicago."

Politico: Hizzoner? Rahm Emanuel must decide fast

Charlie Rose: Interview with Emanuel

Reggie Bush

Conflicting reports from Yahoo Sports and ESPN leave the fate of the 2005 Heisman winner’s trophy undetermined. However, it appears likely that Reggie Bush will be the first football player in the award’s 75-year-history to have it taken away.

Bush, who is now with the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints, will lose his trophy by the end of September, according to a report by Charles Robinson and Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports. Citing two sources, Yahoo reported that the decision was made because Bush was deemed ineligible for NCAA play during the 2004 and 2005 seasons, when he accepted illegal cash and gifts while playing at the University of Southern California. However, the Heisman Trophy Trust, which governs the decision, denied this report to ESPN late Tuesday.

USC has been punished for the violations, including a two-year suspension from bowl play and a reduction in scholarships, according to reports. Additionally, the university has been ordered to return its version of the Bush Heisman and eliminate any reference to him in its football program.

Bush has yet to comment on the issue.

Yahoo: Sources: Trust to take Bush's Heisman

ESPN: Heisman Trust calls report inaccurate

soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. DEX

    psychosis begats psychosis and peaceful actions will bring peace.....

    September 8, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • GOPJim

      you are exactly correct.

      September 8, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shirlee

      If Rev. Terry Jones does burn Korans, I believe that he will be no better than the terrorists that created the ruination of the twin towers. Such a display of tunnel vision is what terrorists are created of. All of the American people imigrated from some other part of the world, therefore we are all imigrants who need to intermiingle and respect each others views, but not to the point of inciting a riot. That smacks of wanting total control and 10 minutes of fame. I wish the news would not even give him acknowlegement, but what does one do about the internet coverage?!

      September 8, 2010 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ruth Nathan

      "Pastor" Terry Jones, if you truly love JESUS CHRIST and HIS teachings you will not resort to such stupidity. Do you know and understand the FRUITS and the GIFTS of the Holy Spirit. JESUS is all lLOVING, FAITHFUL and above all FORGIVING. How would you feel if our Bibles, the WORD OF GOD is torched? Your brainless, senseless actions will only provoke hatred, disrespect, disharmony and disunity the world over. ONLY OUR FAITH IN GOD, TRUST IN HIS WORD, AND THE POWER OF PRAYER WILL BRING HEALING TO OUR WORLD. JESUS CHRIST IS LORD AND REIGNS SUPREME. DO NOT DISGRACE OUR LORD AND GOD.

      September 8, 2010 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • lcb97269

      And the stupid will die like rats believing nonsense.

      September 9, 2010 at 3:36 am | Report abuse |
  2. Guest

    Saturday is not the 5th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

    September 8, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dr.Sandman

      How come we can equate Pastor .Terry Jones with the fundamentalist Islamists? I feel he is putting himself at a great personal risk from such terrorists by going forward with his plans on 9/11. At least he has the courage not to put up with radical islam when they have but one aim that is to eliminate all infidels from the face of the earth.
      Pastor Jones would not have come to garner such a limelight if and only Radical Islam were to be compassionate and believed in co=existence with other religions . After all you just have to turn on the news and you will see the misery wrought on by Islam right from the USA to Russia, Israel, India , Europe , Indonesia, Africa and where ever they have size able numbers . I believe such people should be confronted like the Nazis, facists, communists and other such hate mongering groups or parties.

      September 9, 2010 at 2:35 am | Report abuse |
    • lcb97269

      Guest, it is the 9th anniversary. A great time to hit back at Islam azzholes wherever they are.

      September 9, 2010 at 3:38 am | Report abuse |
  3. Guest

    Thank you!

    September 8, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. john wayne

    Leave the man alone. Could we move on to the real news, please?

    September 8, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tony

    Reggie Bush was the best player in football that year. Regardless of what he "did", the heisman was EARNED that year and shouldn't be taken away from him as punishment. It would mar what the trophy stands for in terms of being awarded to the best player for a given year. That being said, I think Vince Young may have been better, but that's another topic.

    September 8, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • MikinAZ

      I would agree that nothing will change what he accomplished but – he has been deemed inelligible due to rule infractions during the time so he should not get to keep it. Just like olympic gold medals are stripped for rule infractions discovered after the fact and why Pete Rose is ineligible for the mlb hall of fame. break the rules = no trophy

      September 8, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Shutyourhole

    Tony

    Reggie Bush was the best player in football that year. Regardless of what he "did", the heisman was EARNED that year and shouldn't be taken away from him as punishment. It would mar what the trophy stands for in terms of being awarded to the best player for a given year. That being said, I think Vince Young may have been better, but that's another topic.
    ********************************************************************************************
    You seem confused, how could Reggie Bush be "the best player in football that year", but Vince Young "may have been better"?!?! I'm not sure what your talking about? You must be a Republican and a Democrat!

    September 8, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Hova

    He has had Kim K, and has a Superbowl ring! I dont think he cares at this point

    September 8, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shutyourhole

      Kim K . . . and there's a nice piece of A$$!!!

      September 8, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • pnuthead

      oh...he cares.

      September 8, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. heisman winner

    no player who breaks the rules is eligible for any award that presumes compliance. should a 21 yr old who forges their birth certificate to compete in jr high be allowed to keep an award after it becomes known they cheated? once they become ineligible, it's immaterial how good they were. they simply aren't eligible as a result of their deception. this is not a punishment as much as it is a logical consequence of his choice to defraud and cheat. character counts. ha ha bush

    September 8, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • fosterjr

      He did not take perfomance enhancing drugs. Taking money did not make him a better player. He was the best player that year and that's all that matters. You sound like a USC hater or maybe a hater of people that have a good life. Everyone in college gets paid, so maybe you shouldn't watch it anymore

      September 8, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jesus of Nazareth

    If I had to choose between taking back Bush's Heisman or taking back Bush's presidency I think I'd choose the latter.

    September 8, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • God

      Immaculate conception has clouded your judgment. I knew I should have chosen a different womb...

      September 8, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • MikinAZ

      I second that...can we have both?

      September 8, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jamie

    Pastor Terry Jones should get internet access and search for '9 11 controversy' on google and youtube.
    or at least ask someone about it. i think Terry Jones is a dumb racist, the American people should educate him on how to respect other religions.

    September 8, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. fosterjr

    Muslims don't respect other religions so why should he? He's not hurting anyone. It's a book with words in it. God lives in you, not in a book.

    September 8, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • getreal

      so true!

      September 8, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • sheppard

      So much BS.............

      September 8, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mona

      I agree. We're supposed to believe that not all Muslims are terrorists and not be insulted by the PARASITES that live, work and BREED in tjis country when they actually harbor resentment and hattred towards us. Since we're not supposed to be upset that they want to build a Muslim center in Lower Manhatten....a direct "p*ss on you" action...
      I think Pastor Terry is absolutely RIGHT to exercise HIS freedom of Religion and Beliefs and to demonstrate his unacceptance of POLITICAL CORRECTNESS and the lukewarm acceptance of Islam in this country. IT WAS FEARLESS ACTS LIKE THIS THAT MADE PAUL AND PETER SAINTS.
      IF YOU ARE SICK OF THE POLITICAL CORRECTNESS IN THIS COUNTRY, THEN YOU SHOULD BACK PASTOR TERRY.
      IF YOU ARE OPPOSED AND THINK HE SHOULD WITHDRAW FROM HIS PLANNED EVENT, THEN YOU SHOULD KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT WHEN YOUR FED UP WITH THE PC THAT OOZES OUT OF WASINGTON IN THE GUISE OF "DEPLOMACY"

      September 8, 2010 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • taryn

      it's the principle of it. The Americans would be in uproar if you burned the American flag. Or perhaps we can burn bibles and smash statues of the virgin Mary and of Jesus... after all they are just objects. Being disrespectful to ones beliefs is different to not acknowledging ones beliefs. If Rev Terry Jones can't do anything nice, perhaps he shouldn't do anything at all. Narrow minded pig.

      September 8, 2010 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mona

      That's exactly right, taryn....it IS the principle of it! Yes, there were peaceful Muslims killed on 9/11....but as a whole
      the majority were Americans that were white & black...it is incredibly INSENSITIVE for the building of any Muslim center, much less a MOSQUE!!! ... ANYWHERE NEAR the 9/11 site. If Muslims are indeed sensitive people they would have realized this was a decision that would cause alot of protest, but they seem determined to do it anyway....WHY?
      Because they ARE NARROW-MINDED PIGS determined to undermine American life...that's why.

      September 10, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. DANNO 5151

    YES REGGIE BUSH BROKE THE RULES. BUT RECEIVING GIFTS OR MONEY DID NOT ELEVATE HIS PERFORMANCE AND EVENTUAL CONSIDERATION FOR THE HEISMAN . TOTAL BLAME CAN'T BE PUT ON COLLEGE AGE PLAYERS WHO ARE LURED BY GREEDY AGENTS AND ALUMNI . TO RIP HIM OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL'S MOST PRESTIGIOUS INDIVIDUAL AWARD IS MORE LIKE A BAND-AID ON A GUSHING WOUND APPROACH TO REMEDY THIS PROBLEM IN COLLEGE SPORTS. WHAT ABOUT REPRISALS AND PUNISHMENT FOR THOSE 'RESPONSIBLE' PARTIES WHO WRONGFULLY ENTICE YOUNG PLAYERS WITH GIFTS/MONEY , THE TEMPTATION OF WHICH IS POWERFUL AND OVERWHELMING. WAKE-UP NCAA!! IF THE HEISMAN TRUST DOES EVENTUALLY REVOKE REGGIE'S DESERVED AWARD AND ATTEMPT TO NULLIFY HIS 'EXISTENCE' ,IT IS LITTLE MORE THAN SWEEPING THE REAL PROBLEM UNDER THE CARPET! C'MON NCAA, DON'T LET 'BIG MONEY' AND IT'S DECEITFUL AGENTS TOTALLY RUIN COLLEGE FOOTBALL LIKE STEROIDS HAS RUINED PRO BASEBALL!!

    September 8, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Liam Allen

    You reported that USC was asked to return their version of the Bush Heisman Trophy to the Heisman Board. That would seem an odd request since the Board made a statement saying they have not reached a decision yet on the status of Reggie's Heisman Trophy. Is it not more probable that USC volunterally surrendered their copy in hopes of gaining favor from the NCAA to get lighter sanctions ? That being the case, and it probably is, USC threw Reggie Bush under the bus. I would warn any athlete considering USC to do your own research. There are many great schools around the country that support their athletes and cherish the relationship long after the playing days are over. It appears you are nothing but a piece of meat at USC.

    September 8, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  14. God

    He'll clearly incite the irrational muslims to take vengeance so it his actions will clearly imperil all Americans, however that's not my problem anymore. One more thing, I don't exist, I'm a figment of your collective imaginations. Wake up moron.

    September 8, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Steve

    Will USC have to return any of the money they made off of Reggie while he was playing there?

    September 8, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
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