I hear that Hitler was sweet to his dog. Mustn’t be “simplistic,” now! “Taliban can be admired for their faith and loyalty, says bishop,” by Jonathan Wynne-Jones and Duncan Gardham for the Telegraph, December 13 (thanks to Walter):
The Taliban can be admired for their conviction to their faith and their sense of loyalty to one another, the new bishop for the Armed Forces has claimed.
The Rt Rev Stephen Venner called for a more sympathetic approach to the Islamic fundamentalists that recognises their humanity.
The Church of England’s Bishop to the Forces warned that it will be harder to reach a peaceful solution to the war if the Afghan insurgents are portrayed too negatively.
His comments came as the Prime Minister visited Afghanistan and warned that the Taliban was fighting a “guerilla war” aimed at causing “maximum damage”. Gordon Brown said soldiers were discovering improvised explosive devices every two hours….
Bishop Venner stressed his admiration for the sacrifices made by the British forces fighting in Afghanistan but also urged the need for a reassessment of how the Taliban are viewed.
“We’ve been too simplistic in our attitude towards the Taliban,” said Bishop Venner, who was recently commissioned in his new role by Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
“There’s a large number of things that the Taliban say and stand for which none of us in the west could approve, but simply to say therefore that everything they do is bad is not helping the situation because it’s not honest really.
“The Taliban can perhaps be admired for their conviction to their faith and their sense of loyalty to each other.”
Besides their attacks on the armed forces, the Taliban have also been responsible for public beatings, amputations and executions and have launched bomb attacks on the civilian population in Afghanistan.
They often refer to foreign forces as “Crusaders” in an echo of the religious wars of the Middle Ages….