“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.
The bishop said that some of their methods of combat are not honourable or acceptable, but argued that it was unhelpful to demonise them.
“We must remember that there are a lot of people who are under their influence for a whole range of reasons, and we simply can’t lump all of those together.
Colonel Richard Kemp, a former commander in Afghanistan who has written about the insurgency, said the bishop was being naïve.
“We clearly need to understand our enemy but that is more of a military issue rather than a religious one,” he said.
“There are elements in the Taliban who do not act from a religious perspective and it is important to understand and turn them around.
“But there are many others who will not be persuaded. Their central creed and ethos is about violent oppression which comes from a politics of extreme religion that has very little to commend it in terms that we would recognise or appreciate.
“In many ways it is a mistake to compare their faith of extreme holy war with the kind of religion of peace and understanding that the bishop follows. They certainly wouldn’t show understanding of his faith.”
From the article here.