The New York Times tells us that French troops have arrived in Mali, to fight the Islamist takeover of the northern parts of that country. That Islamist takeover has odd roots in the events which took place in Libya, or that's what at least the linked article argues.
But if we dig deeper into the Original Causes, so to speak, this is what we find, all over the world, whenever a radical kind of Islamist thinking takes over:
Such a draconian interpretation of Islam has shocked Malians, yet it has been creeping in for several years. The Saudi government has funded the building of mosques in the capital, Bamako. The head of the High Islamic Council, Mohammed Dicko, who is negotiating with the jihadis in the north, studied in Saudi Arabia. Wahhabism is a rising trend.
A spokesman for the Islamist section has stated that they hold Afghanistan's Taliban as their model. Perhaps that is the reason for the destruction of cultural artifacts?
An extreme form of the shariah law has been adopted in the Islamist controlled areas of Mali. As a consequence, there is the usual focus on women's behavior:
Fanatical Islamists have imposed the strictest form of sharia on the moderate Muslim population of northern Mali, forcing women to adopt a strict Islamic dress code and enforcing segregation of the sexes.
According to Prezi extremists are now compiling lists of unmarried mothers and detaining Malian Muslim women not adhering to the Islamic dress code. One human rights activist reported that forced marriages are becoming commonplace. USA Today reported Ivan Simonovic of the U.N. Human Right's observed: "The price to buy a wife is less than $1,000 and it's often misused." He explained the forced marriages were often a smokescreen for prostitution and rape.----
Thanks to Moonbootica for the original links.