Last week I posted a very short entry, it called on my readers to help support a Syrian woman named, Amina Abdallah who had apparently been kidnapped. At the time like the vast majority of LGBT people I simply accepted the apparent facts of the case. Her blog had been extraordinary in its emotion and its descriptive language. In short like virtually everyone who had read it, I believed her words, I believed in her and I wanted very badly for not only her but for her family and nation also, to be well and safe.
To be totally honest I along with everyone else was had. There is no Amina Abdallah, she is instead a figment of the imagination of a married, male, American, named Tom MacMaster who lives in Edinburgh, Scotland. In a ridiculous pseudo-apology posted on the Gay Girl in Damascus website yesterday, he admitted the truth, while claiming that he perpetrated this global fraud in an attempt to raise issues surrounding LGBT and civil rights in Syria. In the post entitled “Apology to readers” he said “I feel that I have created an important voice for issues that I feel strongly about.”
However, regardless of what he would like to delude himself into believing, the truth is almost certainly the opposite. Rather than helping he has created a poisoned chalice for the next real person who finds, him or herself in such need. He has rather than creating a voice, created a reason for people to disbelieve genuine horror stories from real people, in real trouble, whose lives are actually endangered.
In all likelihood he has endangered the lives of real civil rights activists in Syria, and set back the cause of civil and LGBT rights in Syria, perhaps other Middle-Eastern nations, months, if not years. Why? Because his thoughtless fraud has probably sent many activists back into hiding, out of fear for their freedom, safety and in such a hardline nation even their lives. For the words of genuine rights crusaders who will have to live with the repercussions of MacMaster’s foolishness read this article on GayMiddleEast.com.
But after all of this the LGBT world is left with one burning question. Why?
Why create such an event? Selfishness? Greed? A “look at me” mentality?
What ever the reason, people are angry over the actions of this man. People who took time from their lives to try to help a non-existent woman are angry. People who took time to pray and worry for her, are angry. People who put faith in the honesty and reality of “her” words, are angry. I’m certain that the various diplomatic officials, who wasted perhaps hundreds of man hours and thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars searching for her, are furious.
So Tom MacMasters why did you do it? And why shouldn’t some very angry LGBT folk take you out behind a woodshed with a garden hose filled with lead-shot?