It is one thing to be unreasonably hateful and direct your misplaced anger at an entire religion. It is quite another to be so magnificently stupid that you think you can kill an entire generation of followers with a deadly X-ray machine.
History may glorify hatred but stupidity does get punished.
That lesson hit home recently when a New York mechanic, 51-year-old Glendon Crawford, was found guilty of attempting to produce a deadly radiological device, conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction and distributing information about weapons of mass destruction, after his plans to unleash his X-ray machine on Muslims came to light.
Crawford appeared on the FBI radar in 2012 when he sought support from two Jewish organizations for his device. He also took the invention to a Ku Klux grand wizard, who turned out to be an FBI informant. After a 13-month inquiry, Crawford handed the informants a device that never worked. Crawford has been in jail since his arrest two years ago.
Crawford was convicted after investigations proved that he was not "cartoonish" or "a goofy simpleton" as his defense attorney suggested, but a "cold, calculated" man. During investigations, Crawford was asked for two viable targets for his device and he mentioned an Albany storefront mosque and the New York governor's mansion.
The U.S. attorney also played a secretly taped conversation between Crawford and the Klan grand wizard, in which he said, "I think Islam is an opportunist infection of DNA" and "radiation poisoning is a beautiful thing."
Crawford could now be jailed for 25 years. Sentencing is set for Dec. 15 at the federal court in Albany.