The North African nation of Mali is in the midst of an uprising by strict conservative Islamist rebels who have captured Timbuktu and locked it down under harsh Sharia law and are running around with guns and making all the women wear veils and chasing off all the Westerners and generally just throwing a wrench into any fun summer bikini party plans that Timbuktuans may have had. This is all very troubling, we grant you, (LIP SERVICE ABOUT 'RIGHTS'). But the New York Times' excellent story yesterday on the situation really buried the scariest penalty of all that the cruel extremists are imposing on the not-even-allowed-to-fuck-casually citizenry:

Mrs. Kalil said that when the Islamists encountered young people of the opposite sex together, they forced them to marry on the spot.

TEEN BOY: I was seriously just helping her with her groceries. I'm a bag boy.
ISLAMIST: Marry her or die.
TEEN BOY: I sure hope she's pretty under that veil that you are forcing her to wear at gunpoint!

This is The Tonight Show, and I'm Jay Leno! Tim-buk-tu, whaaaaaaaa??!?

[NYT. Photo: AP]