KONFRONTASI-Australia has denied a visa to far-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos after he responded to a mosque massacre in the New Zealand city of Christchurch by branding Islam "barbaric" and "alien".
David Coleman, Australia's immigration minister, said in a statement on Saturday that Yiannopoulos's social media comments were "appalling and foment hatred and division".
"Milo Yiannopoulos will not be allowed to enter Australia for his proposed tour this year," the statement said.
Coleman did not specify the comments he was referring to.
Yiannopoulos is a former editor of the US-based far-right website Breitbart news site who has regularly railed against Muslims, immigrants and the press.
On Friday, he said on Facebook that attacks like Christchurch happen because "the establishment panders to and mollycoddles extremist leftism and barbaric, alien religious cultures."
At least 49 Muslim worshippers were killed and 40 more wounded on Friday when a gunman attacked two mosques in the southern city. Brenton Tarrant, an Australian-born 28-year-old man, was charged on Saturday with murder over the gun assaults, the worst ever mass shootings in New Zealand's recent history.
In his statement, Coleman said the "terrorist attack in Christchurch was carried out on Muslims peacefully practicing their religion."
He added: "It was an act of pure evil."
Australian media has reported that the government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison already decided in March not to grant a visa to Yiannopoulos, but then changed its position after protests from conservatives in the ruling Liberal Party.
Yiannopoulos's speaking tours have sparked violent protests at universities in the past. During a 2017 event with Yiannopoulos in Melbourne, fights broke out between dozens of his supporters and anti-racism protesters.
He has been banned from Twitter and resigned as Breitbart editor in 2017 after comments in which he appeared to condone paedophilia.
Yiannopoulos responded to the visa ban in a Facebook post on Saturday, saying his comments were not "remotely objectionable".
"I criticised the establishment for pandering to Islamic fundamentalism. So Australia banned me again," he wrote.