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Milo Yiannopoulos banned from entering Australia for tour after massacre comments

New Zealand shooting suspect appears in court
Suspected New Zealand shooter flashes apparent white nationalist gesture in court 03:36

Conservative commentator Milo Yiannopoulos will no longer be allowed to travel to Australia for a tour later this year following comments he made on the mass shooting in New Zealand. Australia's minister for immigration, citizenship and multicultural affairs has banned him from entering the country for the tour. 

"Yiannopoulos' comments on social media regarding the Christchurch terror attack are appalling and foment hatred and division," David Coleman said in a statement Saturday. 

"The terrorist attack in Christchurch was carried out on Muslims peacefully practicing their religion," Coleman said. "It was an act of pure evil. Australia stands with New Zealand and with Muslim communities the world over in condemning this inhuman act."

Coleman didn't specifically state which of Yiannopoulos' comments he was referring to. But the former Breitbart journalist posted on Facebook Friday that attacks like the one in Christchurch happen "because the establishment panders to and mollycoddles extremist leftism and barbaric alien religious cultures." 

Yiannopoulos defended his comments. "I explicitly denounced violence," he later said in another post. "And I criticized the establishment for pandering to Islamic fundamentalism. So Australia banned me again." 

Australian national Brenton Tarrant is accused of killing dozens of people in a live-streamed shooting rampage Friday fueled by white nationalism and anti-immigrant ideology. Forty-nine people died in the attack — New Zealand's deadliest shooting since 1990 — and dozens more have been hospitalized. 

The ban comes only a week after the immigration minister approved Yiannopoulos' visa to visit Australia for a 2019 tour after his 2018 tour with Ann Coulter was canceled last fall. His last visit to the country in December 2017 sparked violent opposing protests between supporters and opponents outside the venue where he was speaking in Melbourne. 

Australian Labor MP Tony Burke praised the decision to ban Yiannopoulos. "Milo banned," he wrote on Twitter Saturday. "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." 

Twitter banned Yiannopoulos from its platform in 2016 after he repeatedly violated its rules, including "inciting or engaging in the targeted abuse or harassment of others." He resigned as a senior editor at Breitbart and lost his book deal in 2017 following comments he made approving pedophilia by Roman Catholic priests having sexual relations with boys as young as 13 years old.

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