BAGHDAD – Phil Robertson, founder of the Duck Dynasty branding empire and patriarch of the famed Robertson family, today embarked on a “missionary trip” to northern Iraq in an apparent attempt to convert members of the radical Islamist group ISIS to Christianity. Robertson told reporters that he will attempt to convert ISIS peacefully, but admitted that he</> is “personally…prepared” to engage in firearm battles with the group if “Bible study” fails.
“It’s time these terrorists find the one true light of God, and I’m the man to show ‘em it,” Robertson said before departing from the Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana early Thursday morning. “My deep learnin’ on all things Bible-related makes me an ideal messenger of God’s love—and if that fails, my skills with a rifle will help me show them God’s wrath, instead.”
Close observers of Robertson will not be surprised by his latest move. On Sean Hannity’s Fox News show Tuesday night, Robertson made his views on ISIS clear, insisting that, according to his reading of the Bible, ISIS members and perhaps all Muslims must choose between conversion to Christianity and death. “I think you either have to convert them … or kill them. One or the other,” Robertson mused.
Robertson will land in Baghdad’s “Green Zone” late Friday night. From there, he will be escorted to Iraq’s northern Kirkuk province and dropped off to begin his missionary work. A spokesman said the Robertson will carry only a Bible, an AR-15 rifle, and a bag of duck jerky along the way.
“The world is tired of ISIS’s brand of brutal intolerance, killing people just because they don’t agree with their version of religion,” Robertson said. “They’ll give up that lifestyle real quick once I arrive in their midst. That, or meet their maker.”
The Department of Defense reportedly granted Robertson clearance to make the trip after deciding that he and ISIS “seem to have more in common than meets the eye,” and felt confident that it would be an “interesting meeting.”
“The chances of someone involved getting beheaded seem high,” Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work said. “Nonetheless, we’re just going to sit back and see how this one unfolds.”