on 8 December 2010
Mr. Baigent's work properly belong within the `conspiracy theories' genre. They all have agendas formed by his preconceptions, and his technique is to use selectivity of data and a procrustean approach in an attempt to `prove' his agenda.
The author says that one objective is to make people think. No doubt he wants to shock people out of their fixed mind sets. However, Plato/Socrates informed us that thinking properly requires desire, volition and passion to sustain it and Aristotle added another requirement, that of logic in order to achieve clarity of thought. Moreover, Bertrand Russell said that humans would do anything, including going to war, rather than think! That is undoubtedly the case, and Mr. Baigent is hardly likely to achieve his endeavour. Rather, conspiracy theories are more likely to attract the naive and credulous. Certainly orthodox and mainstream scholars shun this approach to their subjects.
He regards the three `great' religions as Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and his thesis is that the fundamentalist beliefs of these three religions will relentlessly drive them into conflict in an attempt to dominate the world. He ignores Buddhism and Hinduism, no doubt because they would militate against his contention. In support of his view he points to history as evidence of the aggressiveness of the three religions, ignoring the fact that so often, because of fundamental changes, history has proven to have little or no relevance to the future. Moreover, Judaism and Christianity with their philosophy of `loving your neighbour as yourself', together with Christianity's Sermon on the Mount, clearly run counter to his thesis. Secularisation has weakened both Judaism and Christianity's influence on the West. Only Islam has sought to carry out the injunction of the Qur'an to convert the world to Islam in every way possible, including by the sword if necessary. Hence the rapid spread of Islam due to conquest.
Moreover, territory, once conquered in the name of Islam and lost, must be regained. Hence the determination of militant Muslims to drive the Israelis off the face of the Earth. Muslims are infiltrating into the West in large numbers and many support and sponsor terrorism. Muslims do not identify with Western countries but support their Muslim brethren wherever they are. They owe their allegiance to Islam, not to Western countries. Whereas the author believes that the integration of diverse cultures is a good thing, he ignores the intransigence of Muslims, together with their drive to introduce Sharia law into the West that makes integration of Muslims extremely difficult, if not impossible. He has reservations about tolerance of intolerance, and says that he wants to be left alone to pursue his own thoughts and beliefs without interference. Unfortunately, the day when that was possible in the U.K. has long since passed. Freedom of speech has gone, and we now have political correctness, with those responsible for this acting like thought police. If the intolerance of those who practice intolerance is not resisted, the time will come when individuals will not be allowed to practise their Judaic/Christian beliefs or express uncensored views.
Bertrand Russell was correct when he said that Islam is not a true religion but more a way of life like Communism. It is significant that Communism, like Islam, has sought world domination. Moreover, Communist dictators, who were atheists, in just one century were responsible for the slaughter of more than five times the number of people that religious wars are alleged to have killed in two millennia! Relative to religion, atheistic states have, since the |French Revolution onwards, been far more aggressive, destructive and productive of much more human misery. The USSR may have collapsed but Communism is still a threat to world peace. One has only to think of the economic power of China with its huge military might and nuclear arsenal, together with its support of North Korea, another nuclear and military power, to fear world conflagration from this quarter. Mr. Baigent could have made a more cogent case for Armageddon through a clash of Islam with Communism! It seems that the lens through which he perceives reality has an astigmatism which has obviously distorted his view of the world picture.