At first glance this photo may come across as someone of the “radical Islam” persuasion. You wouldn’t be too far off the mark in thinking this.
Sadly it’s just Phil Robertson of the Duck Dynasty reality TV show on A&E gaining a bit more notoriety for saying small-minded stuff that essentially makes him no better than the Islamic extremists in Syria and Iraq.
Talking to Sean Hannity on the FOX network, Roberston said, referring to radical Islam, that “you either have to convert them … or kill them”.
The convert or die ultimatum has for the most part been the cry of extremists within the Islamic faith, by so-called jihadists who take passages from the Quran to a literal state that many Muslims do not agree with.
The horrible executions of American journalists recently by ISIS is unsettling to say the least and demands that this cruelty be dealt with swiftly and severely. But we are a nation of laws and for Mr. Robertson to suggest that the only option open to us in dealing with these cruel acts is to kill the perpetrators if they don’t convert to his faith system is not all that different from the very people who have carried out these beheadings.
If you’re like me you’re stomach has to turn just a little too when this backwoods sinecure boldly claims something he expects other people to carry out. Like the old men who make war and send our youth off to die for their cavalier pronouncements, Robertson expresses absurdities in the comfort of a FOX studio where some of the bobbing heads who watch this channel think with skulls filled with possum excrement likely would piss all over themselves if confronted with what our military have to deal with in that volatile part of the world.
On the brink of personal ruin in the late 1960’s from a life of “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle”, Robertson had a religious conversion experience and went from one extreme to the other. Now he has a national stage from his reality TV show to draw attention to himself and has used his celebrity lately to promote his fundamentalist views.
The convert or kill ‘em conveyance Robertson made on Hannity’s show is indicative of people who essentially live in a dark hole. Everything to them is judged by an interpretation of ancient scriptures that may convey mercy and justice but where too many believers are quick to label an entire culture as inferior simply because they are not part of the “chosen people”. And I don’t necessarily mean the Judeo-christian belief where allegedly God had personally selected the Jews to represent him on this tiny blue dot in an infinite cosmos.
Each culture is guilty to some degree of ethnocentrism – the belief in the inherent superiority of one’s own ethnic group or culture. But people like Robertson whose faith and upbringing limited their exposure to the bigger, more complex world, never manage to think outside of their small rustic box. They simply don’t know or don’t care that there are other people and places who have existed and prospered long before the American civilization came into being.
Everything, from the clothes they wear, the food they eat and the institutions that make up our government and economic way of life are the measure of all that exists for them. To be different in any way is viewed at best as something to tolerate but not to perceive as equal or, god forbid, better.
So when Robertson flippantly tells the FOX audience that if we can’t convert those radicals over in the Mideast to Christianity we should “kill them. One or the other,” he ignores the entire religious culture of Islam, the history of the Mideast as well as showing his own ignorance of Christianity’s history when, in their heyday, killed many non-believers and put accused heretics to the torch who had been found guilty in church kangaroo courts.
But what’s that to someone who isn’t challenged about the facts in their tight-knit circle and at FOX studios where anything belligerently said about Muslims seldom raises an eyebrow?