The federal government has backflipped again on granting a visa to gay far-right speaker Milo Yiannopoulos, who was set to tour Australia this month, following his comments around the Christchurch terrorist attack.
Immigration David Coleman said the comments that Yiannopoulos made on social media in the wake of the attack describing Islam as a “barbaric, alien” religion are “are appalling and foment hatred and division”, the ABC reported.
“The terrorist attack in Christchurch was carried out on Muslims peacefully practising their religion,” Coleman said.
“Australia stands with New Zealand and with Muslim communities the world over in condemning this inhuman act.”
The Australian charged over Friday’s attack has explicitly stated his neo-Nazi and white supremacist views, many of which critics of Yiannopoulos say the former Breitbart editor is complicit in sharing.
He has been charged with one count of murder, with more believed to come, over the terrorist attack, in which he allegedly entered two mosques and opened fire, leaving 50 Muslims gathered for Friday prayers dead.
Labor MP Tony Burke tweeted his support of the ban, questioning why it wasn’t carried out in the first place.
“His overnight comments weren’t that different from how he has always behaved. There was already enough evidence to ban him which is why the department had already recommended he be banned,” he said.
“The Australian tours for the world’s hate speakers must stop.”
Burke also discussed the ban in an interview on ABC News 24, saying, “If someone wants to come to Australia and we know that they’ve been speaking in support of values that have given rise to other forms of terrorism, we don’t give them a visa.”
Yiannopoulos has been banned from Twitter, Patreon and several other social media website for his incendiary views and actions – but not Facebook.
Liberal MP Tim Wilson, conservative News Corp columnist Andrew Bolt, and One Nation leader Pauline Hanson were among those lobbying Coleman to grant the visa.
Labor Senator Penny Wong said the government only granted Yiannopoulos’ visa because “some right wing commentators have got angry about it so the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison and the Liberal Party decided to change their mind.”