Phil Robertson, the "Duck Dynasty" star and popular conservative icon, has his own idea for how the United States should combat terrorists abroad: "Either convert them or kill them."
"In this case, you either have to convert them, which I think would be next-to-impossible … or kill them, one or the other," he told Fox News on Tuesday.
Speaking with Fox host Sean Hannity, Robertson questioned why terrorists remain angry at the United States, despite what he said was the absence of American troops in the Middle East.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) on Tuesday beheaded U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff, two weeks after members released a video showing the brutal execution of reporter James Foley. In a press conference early Wednesday morning, President Barack Obama promised that the U.S. will "degrade and destroy" ISIS.
Both murders were in response to American airstrikes in the region, a masked jihadist in the videos says. The U.S. began airstrikes Aug. 8 against ISIS targets in Iraq with the stated goal of protecting religious minorities and U.S. assets in the region threatened by the Islamist group.
Fighting ISIS, Robertson added, is similar to combating "street thugs on steroids."
Robertson's anti-gay remarks last year made him a cultural lightning rod. A&E, which airs "Duck Dynasty," suspended him from the network following his rant comparing homosexuality to bestiality and his musings on African-American life in the South. Robertson's family defended him, saying his beliefs were grounded in the teachings of the Bible.
"Duck Dynasty" follows a Louisiana family that became wealthy by selling products for duck hunters, primarily the "Duck Commander."