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Iraq: Council of Ministers Blocks All Websites Deemed in Violation of Islamic Sharia’a

(Aug. 20, 2009) On August 3, 2009, the Council of Ministers of Iraq issued a decision to create a committee to look into means to identify and block all websites that violate Islamic law (Sharia'a). The committee will include officials from the ministries of communications, higher education, and science and technology.

Some Iraqi intellectuals have voiced their concern about such an initiative, claiming that it is an infringement of the right to free speech. However, the Iraqi Cabinet stated that blocking any websites that conflict with Islamic values and principles would be in compliance with the Iraqi Constitution and the country's laws, since Islam is the main source of legislation. (Scientists and Intellectuals: The Freedom of Speech Is Protected by the Constitution, There Is No Return to the Era of Censorship of Opinions, AL SABAH NEWSPAPER, Aug. 4, 2009, available at