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The Stoning of Tiger Woods

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Have you seen the latest barbarism out of Somalia? A man named Mohamed Abukar Ibrahim was stoned to death by Islamic militants for adultery -- literally buried up to his chest and pounded with big rocks until dead. Here's the link.

If you can bear to look at those pictures, just imagine that was Tiger Woods in his place. Not that I wish that on Tiger (or anyone) but in the majority of countries, that is an abomination, a cruel medieval punishment meted with no civilized law or justice. Adultery is an unpleasant and destructive act that happens all too frequently but this kind of "justice" is thankfully rare. However, it is jarring to see that it actually still happens in the world, especially now that we have pictures and videos streaming across the internet. Imagining Tiger Woods in the same situation is pretty horrifying, but it does illustrate the dichotomy between the civilized world and the Stone Age (pardon the pun). If John Edwards once famously pointed out Two Americas, this shows that there are Two Earths, and one of them seems stuck in the Middle Ages, or worse.

I guess Tiger is lucky to live in a country where the crime for adultery is only ruining your career, being exposed and exploited by tabloids and television, and getting beat up by your wife. Perhaps at this point, he's feeling like nothing could be worse. However, I'm sure if he sees these pictures of poor Ibrahim, he would feel a lot luckier that he lives in a "civilized" society. All that being said, the multiple women whom he shtupped must also be glad they live in the US, as the girl who Ibrahim was accused of having an affair with received 100 lashes, and we're not talking fake ones for your eyes. The bright side of her dark situation was that she wasn't put to death because she was not married during their affair. As to Ibrahim, he won't be on the cover of tabloids, won't be discussed in the "news" and won't be able to move to France like Tiger is purported to be considering. But Ibrahim's death should be a reminder of the cruelty that humans can unleash upon each other, and how far we as a species still need to evolve.

It is a shame that one of the worlds greatest golfers has put his career on hiatus simply because he couldn't keep his club in his golfbag, and we all can sympathize with his wife and her public shame. But at the same time, the Woods can go on with their lives, while Ibrahim cannot. Perhaps when Tiger is sipping espresso in a French Cafe, he'll raise a toast to Ibrahim and think a little harder about where he aims his putz.

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