Australia — home of the suspected gunman in the killing of at least 50 people at a New Zealand mosque — has banned alt-right firebrand Milo Yiannopoulos from touring the country over his social media response to the massacre.
Yiannopoulos, a fierce critic of Islam who was set to visit Australia this year, had said on Facebook that attacks like Christchurch happen because “the establishment panders to and mollycoddles extremist leftism and barbaric, alien religious cultures.”
Australian Immigration Minister David Coleman said in a statement that Yiannopoulos’ social media comments are “appalling and foment hatred and division.”
Coleman didn’t specify which comments by Yiannopoulos he was referring to.
Ironically, Coleman's condemnation comes only a week after he had approved a visa for the controversial British commentator and alt-right star against the advice of the Home Affairs department, which warned that Yiannopoulos may fail the character test to enter the country.
It was to be the first tour of Australia for the former Breitbart senior editor since 2017, when clashes between Milo supporters and opponents in Melbourne deteriorated into shoving matches that prompted seven arrests.
The flamboyant commentator, who regularly lashes out against feminism, social justice and political correctness, quickly took to social media with a response:
"I'm banned from Australia, again, after a statement in which I said I abhor political violence," Yiannopoulos said on social media after the announcement.
The right-wing commentator had already stirred up controversy among Australian lawmakers in advance of the planned 2019 visit in a political debate over whether he should be allowed in.
On Twitter, Labor MP Tony Burke praised the decision to ban Yiannopoulos.
"Milo banned. Good. His overnight comments weren't that different from how he has always behaved," he said.
Milo banned. Good. 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. The Australian tours for the world’s hate speakers must stop. https://t.co/gh5ZrQRiU7
— Tony Burke (@Tony_Burke) March 16, 2019
"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," he added.
Yiannopoulos resigned as a senior editor from Bretbart in 2017 following remarks he made about pedophilia by Roman Catholic priests and his endorsement of sexual relations with boys as young as 13.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Australia bans tour by alt-right star Milo Yiannopoulos over New Zealand massacre remarks