Australia

Civil rights group welcomes Australia’s Milo Yiannopoulos 'moral high road' ban

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Yiannopoulos, who shot to fame as the star of the alt-right was rejected on character grounds.

Australia's leading civil rights organisation has welcomed reports alt-right hero Milo Yiannopoulos’ application for a visa to enter Australia has been rejected by the Australian government.

Nine’s Sydney Morning Herald reported the controversial speaker was told this week he wouldn’t be allowed to enter Australia, based on “character grounds”. 

Standard Department of Home Affairs procedure gives rejected visa applicants a month to appeal. 

Milo Yiannopoulos will not be coming to Australia.
Milo Yiannopoulos will not be coming to Australia.
AAP

The Anti-Defamation Commission has praised the hard-line stance, saying the Morrison government had taken the "moral high road in saying no to hate speech and extremism".

"This decision communicates the thunderous message that while we are a tolerant country, anyone who fans the flames of prejudice and seek to sow the seeds of discord, is not welcomed here," the commission's chair Dr Dvir Abramovich told SBS News.

"Let’s not forget that  Milo Yiannopoulos trolled a Jewish journalist with coded Nazi symbols when he  sent a cheque of $14.88 to Talia Lavin."

The number 14 is used by Neo-Nazis as part of the infamous "14 Words" credo: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children".

Eighty-eight is also commonly used in Neo-Nazi circles as a stand in for "Heil Hitler" as H is the eighth letter of the alphabet. 

The exchange saw the alt-right spokesman banned from PayPal, which determined the $14.88 payment was anti-Semitic.

It’s not the only  time he’s stirred up controversy: He was permanently banned from Twitter for harassing actress Leslie Jones and has been linked to neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

In a statement a spokesperson for the Department of Home Affairs did not confirm whether Milo Yiannopoulos’ application for a visa to enter Australia had been rejected.

Alt-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos.
Alt-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos.
AAP

"Any application lodged with the Department by visitors who may hold controversial views will be considered, balancing any risks they may pose with Australia's well-established freedom of speech and freedom of beliefs," the statement reads.

"Where the Department is considering refusal of a visa, applicants may be issued with a Notice of Intention to Consider Refusal, giving them 28 days to respond."

The department said if an applicant does choose to respond it will assess this information before finalising its decision. 

The Australian government's decision comes after Gavin McInnes, who founded the Proud Boys group, was blocked from entering the country in December. 

Last week News Corp published an Immigration Department letter sent to Britain-born Yiannopoulos, declaring there was a risk the alt-right figure would “incite discord in the Australia community or in a segment of that community”. 

British alt-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos' 2017 visit sparked large protests.
British alt-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos' 2017 visit sparked large protests.
AAP

The 33-year-old’s last tour of Australia in 2017 was marred by large protests and a $50,000 police security bill. Tour promoters refused to pay. 

He was scheduled to visit Australia in late 2018 but was forced to cancel the five-show tour. 

While he rejects the label 'alt-right,' Yiannopoulos is a former senior editor at Breitbart News which is associated with the movement.

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