Controversial right-wing firebrand Milo Yiannopoulos labeled thousands of Syrian refugees “rapists,” before backtracking on his comments when he discovered they were actually Christian. He made the comments on an Australian radio station.
3AWradio journalist Neil Mitchell asked Yiannopoulos whether Australians ought to be concerned about the number of Syrian refugees the nation is taking in.
The former Breitbart journalist and self-proclaimed “free speech champion” replied: “I’m suggesting you should send them back immediately because the only consequence of that is going to be a drain on public services and your daughters raped.”
However Yiannopoulos, a vehement critic of feminism and Islam – which he compared to AIDS – abruptly U-turned once Mitchell told him the refugees were in fact Christians.
Asked if it would make a difference if he found out they were the same religion as him, the Brit said: “Well, of course that makes a difference.”
But Mitchell hastened to cut off him, saying: “Well you’ve just called them rapists – this is the problem, you’ve got half the fact – you’ve called them rapists and dole bludgers [lazy welfare recipients] and now they’re Christians so they’re alright.”
The conversation turned into a heated debate with Yiannopoulos accusing Mitchell of intentionally trying to trap him.
However, the conservative’s volley of vexed remarks did not stop there.
Yiannopoulos, who earlier this month married his partner in Hawaii, said Australians should refrain from voting ‘Yes’ to legalizing same-sex marriages. There is currently a national survey underway giving them the opportunity to do so.
“My gut would be to vote against it,” he told the Daily Mail Australia ahead of a tour planned for December.
“I’m gay and a Catholic. The highest priority for me is making sure no church, no believer anywhere, is required to violate their religious conscience.”
He said that rather than bettering gay people’s lives, legislation allowing same-sex marriages is “warfare […] designed to punish conservatives and people of faith.”
His tour is set to kick off in Adelaide on December 1, before he travels to Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and the Gold Coast.
Milo’s tour Down Under has provoked a widespread backlash, with a petition calling for his visa to be canceled garnering just over 1,000 signatures.
His search for an audience in Australia may reflect an attempt to rehabilitate his tarnished reputation. Yiannopoulos suffered a particularly serious setback when he appeared to endorse sexual relationships between “younger boys and older men” in an excerpt from ‘The Drunken Peasants’ podcast which aired a year ago.