And not just for books:

[T]he Iraqi government moves to ban sites deemed harmful to the public, to require Internet cafes to register with the authorities [...] The government, which has been proceeding quietly on the new censorship laws, said prohibitions were necessary because material currently available in the country had had the effect of encouraging sectarian violence in the fragile democracy and of warping the minds of the young.

“Our Constitution respects freedom of thought and freedom of expression, but that should come with respect for society as a whole, and for moral behavior,” said Taher Naser al-Hmood, Iraq’s deputy cultural minister.

In fact, the constitution only guarantees free speech if it “does not violate public order and morality.” So these new laws should not come as too much of a surprise. But freedom as the West understands it is not exactly on the march in Iraq. The entropy of history prevents it.

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