The Australian government said Saturday that it has rescinded the visa of Milo Yiannopoulos for “appalling comments” that Canberra claims the conservative provocateur made in the wake of Friday’s Christchurch mosque shooting. Here is the statement that Milo posted on his facebook which ended up getting him banned:
The Al Noor mosque in Christchurch targeted by Brenton Tarrant produced at least two terrorists, from a very small congregation: al-Qaida recruit Daryl Jones, killed by a drone, and Christopher Havard. The parents of these boys say their sons were radicalized by extremist preachers at Al Noor. The boys were in Yemen with the guys who trained the Charlie Hebdo killers. A 2014 story at Stuff.co.nz (now scrubbed from the internet) quotes a mosque attendee who says, “A visiting speaker from Indonesia talked about violent jihad and plenty shared his views.” Three questions: How many news reports have you read these details in? If you’d known that this mosque was a terrorist factory, would it have changed your feelings about the news at all? Finally, how does it make you feel to learn that the media has been not just ignoring these facts but deleting stories to hide them over the past 24 hours?What Milo wrote on his facebook….
In a statement published by Australia’s immigration minister, David Coleman, the government said it would not allow UK-born Yiannopoulos to visit Australia for a tour this year. Without referencing any specific remarks, the post said Yiannopoulos’ comments on social media about the shooting were “appalling” and “foment hatred and division.”
Coleman added that the attack, which left at least 49 Muslim worshippers dead and dozens injured, was “pure evil.” He reiterated Australia’s support to both New Zealand and Muslim communities in condemning this “inhuman act.”
The minister’s revocation comes just a week after he approved Yiannopoulos’ visa to enter Australia, despite concerns Yiannopoulos wouldn’t pass the country’s “character test.” Coleman’s department had previously warned that Yiannopoulos could fail the test due to previous admissions of being a “troll,” and for an unpaid bill to Victoria Police for policing events during his last tour of Australia in 2017.
Hitting back at the decision on Instagram, Yiannopoulos accused Coleman’s Liberal Party of betraying the fundamental Western value of free speech and for folding to pressure from the Left.
“Note that not a single word or phrase I used is quoted by the Australian government. To do so would reveal that I said nothing remotely objectionable,” Yiannopoulos said. He added that in his initial statement, he “explicitly denounced violence.”