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Man defends hoax ‘Gay Girl in Damascus’ blog

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  1. so now will he be arrested for fraud and deception?
    And yes he has brought harm to individuals

    1. Not sure what offence he has committed

    2. Stuart Neyton 13 Jun 2011, 3:54pm

      arrested for “fraud” and “deception”? Are you serious??

      I don’t think he’s done anything wrong

      1. His morals and ethics may be questionable but I can’t see any criminality

  2. Jock S. Trap 13 Jun 2011, 2:59pm

    There surely is No defensive for such reckless behaviour like this, esp when it puts people’s lives in danger.
    He clearly is ignorant if he insists he did no harm.
    Stupid idiots.
    Mind you he’s getting the press coverage which I think this sick bastard is really all about.

    1. Sorry, anyone called Jock S. Trap cannot be taken seriously.

      1. Personally I find it hard to take people with names like Ed Balls seriously, but am always engaged with Jock S Trap’s comments (whether or not I agree with them)

      2. The whole fiction thing doesn’t bother me, it’s just like writing a film or a book. But stealing someone’s photos off facebook and passing them off as a real character is just wrong.

        1. @Eddy

          I’m personally not so bothered about the fiction either – although I recognise that his wrapping it up as though it was factual may have put some individuals in danger. I do think the ripping off of photos is morally wrong.

          I do wonder if he could be disciplined under university disciplinary rules for bringing the university into disrepute

      3. Jock S. Trap 14 Jun 2011, 9:45am

        Anthony
        Oh dear, what a pity, never mind.

      4. Jock S. Trap 14 Jun 2011, 9:45am

        Anthony
        Prehaps you should focus on debate instead of wasting time getting personal.

  3. He should have kept the thing private and written it as a novel. Then everyone would know it was fictional, he could cause no harm and if it was published, it would help with the situation in the Middle East. He might have been well-meaning but this was the wrong way to go about it.

  4. It’s a modern day “War of the Worlds”.

  5. Not harmed anyone? What about a future genuine instance? People may be sceptical.

  6. This behaviour is reckless disregard for LGBT people living in the middle east.

    This will be used by extremists to claim that LGBT in the middle east are a western conspiracy.

    As he clearly had knowledge of the area, he knew full well that eventually it would come out and will be fully awaere of the consequences of anyone trying to campaign for LGBT rights in the region.

    1. paul canning 13 Jun 2011, 7:59pm

      This will be used by extremists to claim that LGBT in the middle east are a western conspiracy.

      It already has been http://gaymiddleeast.com/news/news%20318.htm

      1. Jock S. Trap 14 Jun 2011, 9:49am

        Paul
        Yes and that is clearly what this idiot doesn’t get when he claims not to have caused harm.
        They never think of the deeper consequences of their actions nor the people it affects.
        Harm has indeed been done and I find it strange that someone claiming to be educated wouldn’t have seen this.

  7. Inverness, Highlands & Islands LGBT Group 13 Jun 2011, 4:15pm

    We would urge people to contact Edinburgh University if they think his actions and association with this world renowned body has brough it into disrepute. The more people who do so the better and it is likely this university will take action. Has this idiot never hreard of the story of the boy who cried wolf. His selfish actions have without doubt the potential to deny those who have genuine cause any action, and put them and others in danger. He hasn’t done this for any such valiant eason as raising the issue of rights, he’s done this for selfish and personal reasons. If you would like to complain to the University, you can do so via these contacts.
    The University of Edinburgh
    Old College, South Bridge Edinburgh EH8 9YL
    Work: +44 (0)131 650 1000
    Fax: +44 (0)131 650 2147
    Email: communications.office@ed.ac.uk

    1. Well I’m expecting he wants there to be a load of hoopla and fuss generated by his actions. As for writing a book around the experience of creating a fake blog- he’s just a bit desperate really.

  8. Dan Filson 13 Jun 2011, 4:21pm

    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 MacMaster’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. Dan Filson 13 Jun 2011, 4:23pm

      I also find his apology – if you call it that – to the person whose images he stole totally flippant and insincere. Imagine if your picture was used for a wholly bogus blog somewhere and then suddenly the world starts pointing them out

  9. 40 years old and a student- that about says it all really.

  10. HelenWilson 13 Jun 2011, 5:01pm

    How long before the rabid Stephen Green is on the news claiming all lesbians are in fact bored middle aged heterosexual men from Scotland?

    1. Mr. Ripley's Asscrack 13 Jun 2011, 5:50pm

      Erm… he’s american, studying in Edinburgh. But maybe now moving swiftly to Coventry.

      1. Sophie Younger 13 Jun 2011, 10:23pm

        Yes ahem he’s not FROM Scotland thank you very much. He is totally American.

        1. HelenWilson 14 Jun 2011, 1:30am

          He lives in Scotland so its the place he is from.

  11. "Stephen Green" 13 Jun 2011, 5:07pm

    I knew it!

  12. Mr. Ripley's Asscrack 13 Jun 2011, 5:59pm

    I can’t understand why his alter ego is a lesbian female. Is he trying to tell the world something? I agree with Stu, MacMaster’s ethics may be questionable but criminal, nah. Apart from the obvious injury to our gay “cause” and to Ms Lecic, who should sue his Yankee ass for sure. I think it’s been blown out of proportional by lazy, hetty journos who were sucked in by his blog. Slow news day, no doubt.

    1. It does seem to be more about the popular press being embarrassed than anything else.

  13. Weird. O.

  14. TrollFromDamascus 14 Jun 2011, 1:45am

    It was funny. You were all duped. Ha ha ha.

    The “morally offended” have initiated a hate mail campaign which is absurd.

    Why are you all using pseudonyms on this website?

  15. Patrick Lilley 14 Jun 2011, 3:17am

    I watched a Syrian exile on Hard Talk the other night swearing the story was true and that he knew people who knew her! This guy was trying to get taken seriously as a member of the Syrian opposition and had attended a large gathering of exiles campaigning against the Assad dictatorship. This blog is bringing the Syrian opposition into disrepute but then its their responsibility to do their homework. You can’t trust anything these days… and blogs can push the envelope on subjective “truth.”

  16. What makes me wonder is how anyone is surprised by this? I knew it was a fake the moment I saw it weeks ago. I mean really? People are so gullible and easily taken in. We want to have unrealistic hopes and we want things to be how we envision them, so we easily allow ourselves to be blinded.

    I would have been surprised, or even shocked if this Syrian Gay Girl had been real.

  17. He is a disgrace. If you write fiction..say it’s fiction..if you write fact..then give a source. I would not put his book in my garbage!

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