PARIS—Two Islamic policemen patrol the city of Timbuktu, Mali, in 2012, making sure that sharia law is being enforced. The first man’s voice sounds calm as he politely asks women to cover their faces with their veils. The second man carries an AK-47 assault rifle. At the end of the patrol, with a joyful tone, they say to camera, “The market was very secure, the women were enough veiled, Abdullah!”
Though the years of radical Islam seem gone in the North Africa country after being toppled from power in 2013 by French military intervention, the opening scene of the movie by François Margolin, “Salafistes,” or “Jihadists” by its English name, catches a rare glimpse of the an ever-present terror in Africa and Maghreb.