Yet another intellectual gem from a senior member of the Church of England:
The Rt Rev Stephen Venner called for a more sympathetic approach to the Islamic fundamentalists. The Church of England’s Bishop to the Forces said it would be harder to reach a peaceful solution to the war if the insurgents were portrayed too negatively. […] “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. The Taliban can perhaps be admired for their conviction to their faith and their sense of loyalty to each other.”
Could not the same have been said about the formidable soldiers of the Waffen SS? But how is ‘conviction’ and ‘loyalty’ in the service of evil somehow admirable? And how is noting this quality in an enemy going to “help the situation”? And what if the nature of the enemy simply precludes any possibility of a “peaceful solution”? This is the Taliban we are talking about.
Well in a way he is right I suppose… we should note that they are loyal to their faith and to each other, and understanding this, it should be understood that no accommodation can possibly be reached with fundamentalists, be they Nazi ones or Islamofascist ones. They need to be confronted, culturally, politically and when needed, militarily when they wander “off the reservation”… precisely because of their “conviction to their faith and their sense of loyalty to each other”.
Getting that set in people’s minds would indeed “help the situation”.