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Gay Girl in Damascus blog written by 40-year-old Edinburgh man

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  1. “Last night, Mr MacMaster unmasked himself as the blogger, claiming that while the “narrative voice” was fictional, the facts were true.”

    And how exactly would thi\s idiot know what is happening in Syria from his comfy home in Edinburgh.

    This guy is an idiot,.

    1. He is only American. Yes, they can.

  2. Prick. So now when any actual GLBTQ person is publicised as needing some help, how many people will wonder if it is just a hoax and decide not to take action? Selfish little cretin.

  3. Eddy - from 2007 13 Jun 2011, 11:12am

    Hmmm. Fascinating. Psychologically. Perhaps Mr. MacMaster has knowledge of life in Syria. But perhaps he does not. If he does not, then why would a middle-aged heterosexual married man devote so much time and energy to writing from the viewpoint of a Syrian lesbian, and going a step further by actually posing as her? Fascinating.

  4. Jock S. Trap 13 Jun 2011, 11:37am

    What a completely reckless thing to do.
    He must have known he would possibly be putting people’s lifes in danger considering how unstable the whole region is at the moment…
    Oh nope that’s right he didn’t think and now at what consequences?
    I totally understand those who are angry in the Middle East, as if they don’t have enough to worry about as it is without Pillocks like this adding to their daily frustrations.
    I take it Universities are taking any ol riff raff nowadays, clearly this one isn’t so intelligent.
    Guess money talks.

  5. You are foolish indeed if you believe a liar twice…

    The most likely ‘reason’ for what MacMaster did is that he and his wife are working for US intelligence, or related US government agencies. Some of us were saying from the beginning that this was a US intelligence operation.

    And if that seems implausible or, heaven forbid, a ‘conspiracy theory’ go and educate yourself on the bloggers the NAtional Endowment for Democracy (CIA parallel agency) were funding and training ‘in’ Egypt. About 300 I think. Now there’s something to think about…

    1. Yep. NED was my first thought, too.

  6. Paddyswurds 13 Jun 2011, 12:01pm

    Another American idiot. This is so stupid as to border on criminal. Just like the three Americans captured by Iranian soldiers on the Iraqi border with Iran a couple of years ago. Sarah Shourd was on Hard Talk this morning and if you ask me she shouldn’t be allowed out alone. The woman has the itelligence of a five year old Her two companions are still in prison in Iran under suspicion of espionage. If she is anything to go by the two dudes Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal are probably just as infantile. Unbelieveable….what is happening in the USA. If these three are any indication of thye calibre of American intelligence i despair for the future of the US and more importantly the World.

  7. Not sure I subscribe to the conspiracy theories that this gentleman was employed by the CIA ….

    Also, I can see the potential damage he has done to genuine bloggers and those facing oppression within Syria – and can also see the unnecessary risk that may have been undertaken by some in Syria to rescue this fictitious character.

    I do not know whether or not Mr MacMaster has any knowledge of the Syrian situation – he may have significant knowledge. He may even have significant knowledge of oppression of the LGBT communities in Syria.

    One benefit is that it has caused the issue to be discussed and debated – however misguided his scheme may have been.

  8. I figured it was going to turn out fake when we discovered that the pictures were of another woman. Sure, if Amina was real, then she wouldn’t want to use her real face. But, someone in that situation wouldn’t just assume somebody else’s identity, not for something that personal. Unless they weren’t real, of course. For someone who already faked the whole thing, they wouldn’t have thought twice about adding one more lie to the pile.
    As for MacMaster, I’d like to think he had good intentions, but just went about this the completely wrong way.

  9. Dan Filson 13 Jun 2011, 1:33pm

    His apology is insincere. I’ve said it elsewhere, he’s capable of faking a persona for several months, he’s capable of other fraud too. Edinburgh University, the UKBA and HMRC should check & recheck all about him – degrees, passport, visas, tax records. It isn’t just Amina he faked, there’s also Raisa the ‘cousin’ who reported the ‘kidnap’, appealing for international support for a rescue. There the puzzle over ‘Paula Brooks; who supposedly introduced ‘Amina’ to an LGB site, and possibly is in reality McMaster’s wife, if indeed she is his wife. He might be CIA, might be a hoaxster, or might be an Assad agent smoking out regime opponents. To me he is an undesirable alien who should be refused readmittance to the UK and expelled from the university, not least for making possibly false Wikipedia entries.

    1. johnny33308 13 Jun 2011, 1:44pm

      agree-he should go-now

  10. johnny33308 13 Jun 2011, 1:42pm

    And how would a 40 yr old hetero married man ever know anything about being a lesbian? Or being a Syrian, or an Arab? He is not even able to write the correct date. I think he harmed more that a few people with this lie.I joined the FB page set up to aid in her ‘release’. This man is an embarassment-yet another stupid American. And why is a 40 yr old straight man still in school, anyway?

  11. Gay Middle East Grassroots LGBT Reporting 13 Jun 2011, 2:20pm

    Checkout the reply of two gay Syrian Bloggers to McMaster

  12. paul canning 13 Jun 2011, 2:27pm

    You can read what two gay Syrians have to say about this here

  13. Wreckless and stupid! He’s totally ignorant of the harm he may have caused. Its bad enough we’re deporting so called fraudulent asylum seekers only to make matters worse for our fellow brothers and sisters in the middle east and elsewhere. The University of Edinburgh should send him down.

  14. Clark Downes 13 Jun 2011, 2:35pm

    Ok, ok, its wrong….but I still laughed when I read the headline.

  15. I agree, very “reckless” for him to have done that. At the same time, his comments should have never been reported by main-line news without his identity being confirmed. Just saying!

  16. "Tom MacMaster" 13 Jun 2011, 2:44pm

    Sorry, I am not a Syrian Lesbian. Oh and I stole a Syrian woman’s facebook pic making them feel endangered. Sorry.

  17. Anthony Venn-Brown 13 Jun 2011, 2:51pm

    Silly silly silly man. I think the apology lacks reality of the impact his deception has created. Shock and denial possibly at being caught out…..but a tragic outcome for so many. It is difficult enough getting to hear the voices of those suffering terribly in countries with criminal consequences for those who are gay, lesbian or transgender without a straight married man clouding the problem.

  18. Maybe I’m as dim as Mr. McM himself, but don’t seem to have come across a vestige of true – or even untrue – motive for the whole reckless, life-endangering prank.

    If it were possible to send his apology back as “UNACCEPTED – TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE”, I would suggest that you do so.

    Place upon him a real burden to explain his motives, – whether they be venal, political (same thing), monetary or just good old-fashiopned ego….and then you might have something worthwhile to report from him.

    He is letting himself off far too lightly with this empty “admission”, which comes nowhere near to matching the damage he has done to the credibility of all concerned, – and first and foremost to that of those in the front line in Syria itself.

    Frankly, I would suggest banning Mr. McM and all his Works from Pink News circles for ever and ever…….

  19. Agree the guy is an idiot – but that is the nature of internet blogs isn’t it….big pinches of salt all round added to a bucket of scepticism.

  20. I guess we might consider this one another lunatic American!
    I guess he by far does not have a clue how much harm he did; an idiot guy claiming to be a lesbian woman!

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