Whatever people's views on David Cameron's speech on extremism on Monday, one element was encouraging.
The Prime Minister recognises that conspiracy theories can be important, and that British Islam has been deviled by them. That at least is a positive development. But why are some religions so convinced everyone is out to get them? Or that any bad deed committed in its name must automatically come, not from co-religionists, but outside, from the 'other'?
Andrew Mueller, in the Autumn 2014 issue of the New Humanist, offers some explanation:
"Because belief in conspiracies surely comes from the same place as belief in gods - the human need to reassure ourselves that the world is ordered, that things happen for a reason, that someone, somewhere is actually in charge."
Is there a correlation between religious adherence and support for conspiracy theories? That probably requires much further investigation. But certainly some of the societies which appear most riven by conspiracism - the United States, Pakistan and Egypt to name just three - are all deeply religious countries with a small ruling class that moves at a considerable distance, from its citizens.
Food for thought?