In the town of Gao, in northern Mali, rebels who took over much of the country have imposed a hardline form of Islamic religious law.
Schools are now segregated by gender, with Arabic being taught instead of the national language French.
Alleged thieves and criminals have even had their hands and feet amputated.
The government of Mali is now asking for international help to deal with the rebels who are creating a power base in the north.
Al Jazeera's Imran Khan reports.