Rudy Giuliani took on Matt Lauer, his successor as Mayor, and apparently Nancy Pelosi’s thought police to argue against the building of the Ground Zero mosque. Giuliani acknowledged, as most of the project’s opponents do, that the owners of the property have a right to build anything within the zoning regulations at the site. Giuliani doesn’t call for government intervention, either. But he calls for the same kind of sensitivity that the Pope showed in pushing to move a convent in the vicinity of Auschwitz to a less provocative location as a way to foster actual healing, dialogue, and understanding:

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Giuliani wonders whether Rauf can even get the money necessary to move forward with the project. The imam will travel abroad soon, on the State Department’s dime, but may not find receptive audiences. One of the most influential institutions in Sunni Islam, Egypt’s Al Azhar, considers the entire idea a Zionist plot to tie Islam to 9/11, according to Pajamas Media (via Instapundit):

A number of Al Azhar ulema expressed their opposition to building a mosque near [where] the events of September 11 [occurred], convinced that it is “a conspiracy to confirm a clear connection between the strikes of September [11] and Islam.” Dr. ‘Abd al-Mu‘ti Bayumi, a member of the Islamic Research Academy [of Al Azhar] told Al Masry Al Youm that he rejects the building of any mosque in this area [Ground Zero], because the “devious mentality” desires to connect these events [of 9/11] with Islam, though he maintains that Islam is innocent of this accusation. Instead, it is a “Zionist conspiracy,” which many are making use of to harm the religion. Likewise, Dr. Amna Nazir, professor of doctrine and philosophy at Al Azhar, expressed her rejection that a mosque be built near the World Trade Center, saying: “Building a mosque on this rubble indicates bad intention — even if we wished to shut our eyes, close our minds, and insist on good will. I hope it is a sincere step, and not a new conspiracy against Islam and Muslims.”

Raymond Ibrahim wonders in his column:

Now, here’s the question: if Al Azhar scholars are fully aware of how detrimental the erection of a 9/11 mosque can be, why are American Muslims (such as of the Cordoba Initiative) still relentlessly pursuing it?

The motivation may wind up being secondary to means. If Rauf can’t raise $100 million, the project’s not going anywhere, regardless of the motives behind it.