Afghan insurgents ‘Talibantastic’, says bishop

The new bishop of Britain’s armed forces has been singing the praises of the much-maligned Taliban this week by insisting that “you have to hand it to them” for their “courage” in the face of such fierce opposition.

The Church of England’s Right Reverend Stephen Venner wrote on the Daily Telegraph website yesterday: “You’ve got to take your hat off to these people at the end of the day. What they do must take a lot of courage, especially in the face of such ongoing hatred. I feel kind of sorry for them in a way, because they’re just doing their job and it must take a lot of guts to keep going in such an organised and determined fashion. I think our boys could learn a lot from the discipline shown by the Taliban – you never hear them complaining about anything, do you? Their stoicism is a lesson to us all.

“To blanket them all as evil and paint them as black is not helpful in a very complex situation. Besides, they’re not black, they’re brown. And a lot of them are pretty decent blokes to be honest with you. I’ve played cards with a few of them and I’ll tell you something, those lads can sure hold their drink. I struggled to keep up with them and I’m a bishop, for Christ’s sake.”

As well as being an admirer of the Taliban’s courage and stoicism, Reverend Venner also praised the group’s conviction to their faith and sense of loyalty to one another: “Sometimes, when my belief begins to waver and I find myself thinking ‘Is all this real? Does God truly exist?’, I only need to take one look at the Taliban and how committed they are to their faith (even though it’s wrong) and I get the hunger back again. What I also find inspiring about them is how much they look out for one another – apart from when one of them has to carry out a suicide attack, obviously. But other than that I can’t fault them – they’ve got this Three Musketeers solidarity which puts most other terrorist-leaning political organisations to shame.”

The bishop concluded his comments by insisting that it would be wrong to “demonise” Taliban insurgents, adding: “They’re not as bad as they’re made out in a lot of cases. Some of the good things they do are completely ignored by the western media, and I think they’re misunderstood by a lot of people. When you get to know many of them, they’re actually quite decent people – once you get over all the guns and explosives and stuff. My personal experience of them has actually been surprisingly good – in fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s been Talibantastic.”

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