Milo Yiannopoulos is not welcome in Australia following Islamophobic statements he made on social media, ABC News reports. Yiannopoulos is a political commentator and pot-stirrer who has made a career of advancing conservative and alt-right rhetoric.
In confirming the ban, Immigration Minister David Coleman described the recent mass shooting, which at the time had left 49 dead and 42 injured, as an “act of pure evil,” reaffirming that Yiannopoulos would indeed be prohibited from entering Australia.
“Yiannopoulos’s comments on social media regarding the Christchurch terror attack are appalling and foment hatred and division,” he said, while pointing out the attack was carried out on worshippers who were in the act of peacefully practicing the Muslim religion.
“Australia stands with New Zealand and with Muslim communities the world over in condemning this inhuman act,” Coleman added.
Yiannopoulos received backlash from Australian immigration officers and people in general after describing Islam as “barbaric” and “alien” following the shooting, which has, by general accounts, been acknowledged as religiously and politically motivated in opposition to Islam.
Labor MP Tony Burke weighed in on Twitter, expressing support for the decision and resoundingly condemning Yiannopoulos. Burke went as far as to point out that the recent comments, while troubling, were not, in fact, anything remarkable in the context of the usual rhetoric espoused by the alt-right figure.
— David Crowe (@CroweDM) March 16, 2019
Burke closed by saying that “Australian tours” of hate speech from around the world need to come to an end.
The controversy comes after Yiannopoulos vowed to make a resounding recovery from what he admits has been a poor couple of years for himself, personally. In recent years, he has been banned from most major technology platforms, lost his position as senior editor of Breitbart, and missed out on $250,000 book deal.
Yiannopoulos had been scheduled to travel to Australia on a speaking tour, and the tour was going to proceed, despite the fact that he continues to owe Victoria Police $50,000 for security from a 2017 event in which hundreds of protesters tangled with approximately 50 right-wing activists.
The debt is evidently one of many, as Yiannopoulos has publicly acknowledged that his finances are in very poor shape, correcting reports that he owes as much as $2 million to claim that the figure is actually closer to $4 million.
Yiannopoulos took to social media following the announcement that he was no longer welcome in Australia by indicating that he had tempered his remarks on Islam by indicating that he, in fact, “abhors” political violence.