The Taliban is a destructive force of darkness, said the former Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, putting him at odds with the new Bishop to the Forces, Dr Stephen Venner, who appeared to defend the Taliban this week.
In Standpoint magazine, Bishop Nazir-Ali writes: “Any abandonment of Afghanistan, at this stage, will create exactly the kind of chaos in which these movements flourish. It will, once again, bring about the conditions where the Taliban will return the country to the darkest night and also remove any incentive for Pakistan to engage with its own extremist groups, at least in the border areas.
“We should not underestimate its [radical Islam’s] capacity for disruption and destruction and its desire to remake the world in its own image. In the face of such an ideology, the international community must not lose its nerve. Any withdrawal from a political, military and even intellectual engagement will be seen as capitulation.”
Public opinion appeared to be heavily with Bishop Nazir-Ali, as Dr Venner was forced to publicly apologise this week after giving an interview which had precisely the effect that Bishop Nazir-Ali warned against.
“We’ve been too simplistic in our attitude towards the Taliban,” said Dr Venner in an interview with the Telegraph. “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.
Read it all here.