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Milo Yiannopoulos Ping-Pongs Back to Banned in Australia

by Kilian Melloy
Monday Mar 18, 2019
Milo Yiannopoulos
Milo Yiannopoulos  (Source:AP/Jeremy Papasso)

As previously reported earlier this month, openly gay right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos found himself basking in the support of fellow right-wingers when the Australian government notified him that he would not be granted a visa for a planned speaking tour. Rising to his defense, prominent conservative politicians — including an Australian senator who is known for having founded a far-right political party and then named it after herself — sent up a howl about Yiannopoulos being denied on grounds of his "character" after a previous tour sparked violent clashes and led to Australian police billing him for $50,000.

That brouhaha from the right succeeded in pressuring the Australian government into reversing itself and granting Yiannopoulos a visa after all, as EDGE reported in a follow-up article.

Then came the mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, allegedly by an Australian white nationalist who murdered 49 people in their own houses of worship, evidently in a bid to inflict terror on New Zealand and prove that even a small, remote nation known for its peacefulness can become the target of xenophobic terrorism.

Yiannopoulos took to Facebook to hold forth in the wake of the shooting — and then found himself disinvited all over again when the Australian government seized on his comments as a reason to revoke the previously-refused visa.

The perpetrator of the mosque shootings, 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant, said in a manifesto he posted online that he was "influenced... above all" by right-wing commentator Candace Owens. Tarrance went on to say, "Though I will have to disavow some of her beliefs," explaining that "the extreme actions she calls for are too much, even for my tastes."

Tarrant had reportedly recorded his killing rampage and posted video online. Saying anything is "too much" for his "tastes" is saying something.

Owens jumped on Twitter where she dismissed Tarrant's claims with "LOL" and a laughing emoticon. Owens then stated that she had "never created any content espousing my views on the 2nd Amendment or Islam."

She then blamed "the Left" for "pretending I inspired a mosque massacre" and repeated, "LOL!"

That tweet prompted a Twitter backlash from those who found her remarks to be "callous," reported RT.com.

Yiannopoulos came to Owens' defense at Facebook, posting his own version of Owens' "blame the Left" strategy.

"Whatever you think about her, Candace Owens had nothing to do with what happened in New Zealand," Yiannopoulos opined. "People aren't radicalized by their own side. They get pushed to the far-Right BY THE LEFT, not by others on the Right.

"Everyone on the Right in public life is constantly rejecting ethnonationalism and violence," the right-wing provocateur added. "I, for instance, have spent my entire career denouncing political violence. Candace has never been especially controversial and has never had many far-Right fans. She gets less popular the further Right you go."

Toward the end of his post, Yiannopolous added, "Attacks like this happen because the establishment panders to and mollycoddles extremist Leftism and barbaric, alien religious cultures."

The Australian government reportedly took umbrage at the reference to "barbaric, alien religious cultures," which was evidently interpreted as a slam against Islam. The days after the shootings, Australian news outlet ABC reported that the Australian government had done a second backflip and reinstated the ban that had originally been imposed on Yiannopolous.

Australia's Immigration Minister, David Coleman, announced the renewed ban, saying, "Yiannopoulos's comments on social media regarding the Christchurch terror attack are appalling and foment hatred and division."

Added Coleman: "Australia stands with New Zealand and with Muslim communities the world over in condemning this inhuman act."

While the president of the United States — to whom the alleged gunman also offered praise, though of a qualified sort - and a Texas Republican congressman issued a statement that some took as a validation of the alleged gunman's views, , something that has proven impossible in the United States despite years of mass shootings.

Australian Minister of Parliament Tony Burke, a Labor politician, tweeted, "Milo banned. Good. His overnight comments weren't that different from how he has always behaved," he said.

Added Burke, "The Australian tours for the world's hate speakers must stop."
Yiannopoulos begged to differ.

"Any excuse," he posted at Facebook when word of the ban's reinstatement was reported.

He followed up with another post in which he declared, "I'm banned from Australia, again, after a statement in which I said I abhor political violence."

In still another post, Yiannopoulos insisted, "I explicitly denounced violence. I said that we on the Right are constantly disavowing racists. I pointed out the inconvenient fact that it is Leftists committing the majority of political violence. And I criticized the establishment for pandering to Islamic fundamentalism. So Australia banned me again."

By later that day, Yiannopoulos had moved on to other topics, however.

"AT LAST YOU CAN OWN SOMETHING MILO HAD HIS LIPS AROUND," the commentator declared. "Make me an offer for this Swarovski crystal bejewelled mic, arm, pop filter and milo logo embellishments from the MILO SHOW set."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


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