Milo Yiannopoulos was declared persona non grata Saturday by Australia’s top immigration official as a result of the right-wing provocateur’s response to the recent massacre at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
David Coleman, the Australian minister for immigration, said in a statement that Mr. Yiannopoulos “will not be allowed to enter Australia for his proposed tour this year.”
“Mr. Yiannopoulos’ comments on social media regarding the Christchurch terror attack are appalling and foment hatred and division,” said Mr. Coleman. “The terrorist attack in Christchurch was carried out on Muslims peacefully practicing their religion. It was an act of pure evil.”
“Australia stands with New Zealand and with Muslim communities the world over in condemning this inhuman act,” Mr. Coleman’s statement concluded.
A former editor for Breitbart News, Mr. Yiannopoulos had discussed the attacks in a Facebook post written Friday about Candace Owens, a conservative activist and fellow right-wing media personality credited in a racist manifesto allegedly written by the massacre’s suspected perpetrator.
“Everyone on the Right in public life is constantly rejecting ethnonationalism and violence,” Mr. Yiannopoulos wrote in the Facebook post. “I, for instance, have spent my entire career denouncing political violence. Candace has never been especially controversial and has never had many far-Right fans. She gets less popular the further Right you go.”
“Attacks like this happen because the establishment panders to and mollycoddles extremist Leftism and barbaric, alien religious cultures. Not when someone dares to point it out,” Mr. Yiannopoulos added.
Reacting to Mr. Coleman’s decision, Mr. Yiannopoulos insisted he said “nothing remotely objectionable.”
“I explicitly denounced violence,” Mr. Yiannopoulos, 34, said on social media. “I said that we on the Right are always disavowing racists. I pointed out the inconvenient fact that it is Leftists committing the majority of political violence. And I criticized the establishment for pandering to Islamic fundamentalism. So Australia banned me again.”
“Coleman and his party deserve to be annihilated at the next election for their betrayal of such fundamental western values as free speech and for cravenly folding to pressure from the Left,” he added.
Australian officials have debated allowing Mr. Yiannopoulos to enter the country in the weeks prior to Friday’s rampage, and Scott Morrison, the country’s prime minister, discussed the topic during a press conference after regional outlets reported earlier this month that Mr. Coleman was expected to override concerns from the Department of Home Affairs and personally intervene to authorize a visa.
“This is just a normal process following through,” Mr. Morrison said last week. “The minister has allowed that process to go to this point and he’ll make a decision on this issue shortly.”
Tony Burke, an Australian politician who opposed letting Mr. Yiannopoulos enter, praised Mr. Coleman’s decision on Twitter later Saturday.
“Milo banned. Good. His overnight comments weren’t that different from how he has always behaved,” he said. “There was already enough evidence to ban him which is why the department had already recommended he be banned.
“The Australian tours for the world’s hate speakers must stop.”
Forty-nine people have died so far as a result of Friday’s massacre at two mosques in Christchurch. The manifesto uploaded prior to the rampage by a self-described racist and etho-nationalist who wrote that “the person that has influenced me above all was Candace Owens.”
“LOL!” reacted Ms. Owens, a 29-year-old communications director for the Turning Point USA conservative advocacy group. “FACT: I’ve never created any content espousing my views on the 2nd Amendment or Islam.”
New Zealand authorities have arrested and charged a 28-year-old Australian man for the slayings, Brenton Tarrant.