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Sex shop and strip clubs near ground zero show double standard over Park51

Leaving the political controversy aside, the proposed Islamic community center would fit very well into – and improve – the urban landscape around ground zero. The same can’t be said for the sleazy shops nearby.

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In this debate over whether a Muslim community center should be built two blocks from where the World Trade Center was destroyed on 9/11, both sides have sought to capture the high ground.

President Obama and New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg have defended the building of the community center by invoking the First Amendment. “The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country, and will not be treated differently by their government, is essential to who we are,” the president declared.

Republican conservatives, like former House speaker Newt Gingrich and current House minority leader John A. Boehner, have based their opposition to the center on their concern for the feelings of those who lost loved ones on 9/11. “Nazis don’t have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust Museum in New York,” Gingrich said by way of analogy.

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