A man who posted what authorities deemed “hateful” things about Muslims on Facebook is facing eight counts more than a year in prison in Sussex, a coastal county in southeast England, United Kingdom.

“The charges brought in this case are extremely serious and were only brought against four people in England and Wales during 2016,” said Sussex Police Hate Crime Sergeant Peter Allan (because apparently “Hate Crime Sergeant” is a real, taxpayer-funded, paid position in 2017 Great Britain). “Nigel Pelham used Facebook to express some truly offensive views, with no understanding of how serious his actions were.”

The Orwellian officer continued, threatening anyone and everyone who dared to express a racist, offensive, or even cheeky opinion on their own personal social media accounts:

Many people see social media as a harmless and sometimes faceless place to air their opinions, however I hope this shows we will not tolerate this type of behaviour and will act when someone reports their concern about what someone is posting…

I hope the sentence handed down by the court on Friday acts as a deterrent to others and sends a reassuring message to those who may be directly targeted or are more widely affected by people’s use of social media to spread messages of fear and hate.

I encourage people who witness such content, to report it to the provider of the social media platform, but such reports can also be made to us online.

In case you’re wondering, this isn’t a joke. This is all disturbingly real. A bloke with a job title that sounds like it’s straight out of 1984 is actually calling on civilians to rat out their neighbors, friends, and family if they post something that might be deemed “hateful” on Facebook.

This isn’t to say that the thought criminal in question is the most pleasant human being on the planet. But one need not win tolerant citizen of the year to avoid being imprisoned by the state for simply using provocative language or espousing views unsuitable for polite company. As the Sussex police’s own statement makes clear, Pelham didn’t make any explicit threats against any individuals. This “crime” featured what the metropolitan Left likes to call “hate speech” (as if that phrase is somehow objective or stable despite being entirely premised on the secular gospel of identity politics).

Adding insult to injury, authorities have placed a target on Pelham’s back, gratuitously publicizing personal information about the location of his residence only after forcing him to pay a “victim surcharge” and having his computers confiscated.

“On June 16 he was sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court in London to 20 months for each of the eight counts to run concurrently,” say the police. “He also has to pay £100 victim surcharge and has had two hard drives and his tower computer confiscated,” stated the Sussex police.

Pelham’s arrest comes just days after a bigoted anti-Muslim extremist plowed his van into Muslim worshippers outside of a mosque in north London’s Finsbury Park, injuring 11 people and possibly killing one (authorities have yet to establish a definitive link between the victim’s death at the scene of the attack and the attack itself). The incident is being treated as a terrorist attack as Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism command investigate the background of the lone attacker, identified as 47-year-old Darren Osborne.

While the attack was truly horrific and shined a light on some of the most dangerous elements of far-right extremism, strengthened by the political establishment’s inability to effectively mitigate the seemingly ubiquitous threat of Islamist terrorism, the Sussex police’s decision to make an example out of Pelham and show the public that it’s doing something, no matter how imprudent, about the fringe tribalists and ethno-nationalist agitators isn’t just counter-productive but dangerous to a society in the long-run.

Make no mistake “hate speech” diktats are nothing more than modern-day blasphemy laws. You would expect something like this in Saudi Arabia, where bloggers are brutally lashed for “insulting” Islam, an idea that should be examined in the public forum like any other idea. But the United Kingdom? A post-Enlightenment Western European state?

H/t reader kevin a.