The Taliban can be admired for their conviction to their faith and their sense of loyalty to one another, the UK's new Anglican bishop for the Armed Forces was reported saying.
Reverend Stephen Venner called for a more sympathetic approach to the Islamic fundamentalists that recognises their humanity, the report said, warning it would be harder to reach a peaceful solution to the war if the Afghan insurgents are portrayed too negatively.
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."
The bishop said that some of their methods of combat are not honourable or acceptable, but argued that it was unhelpful to demonise them.
Taliban can be admired for their faith and loyalty, says bishop (Telegraph.co.uk)