Tom MacMaster, an American post-graduate student in Edinburgh, found that when he gave his views on the Middle East they were not received with the respect and attention he felt he deserved. So he created a persona, Amina Abdullah Arraf al-Omari, to express them. He wrote a novel purporting to be her lesbian memoir, and sent it to a lesbian writer asking help getting it published. That writer saw that it was rubbish.
In his first blog by “Amina”, MacMaster wrote comments purporting to come from Amina’s cousin. I do want traffic here, but not the illusion of it. Now, the second Amina blog claims a million hits, but that is in a heading rather than in a hit counter: that may be yet another lie. He started this second blog in February, and on 6 June he wrote that Amina had been abducted by Syrian security police. A campaign started to free her, even involving the US State Department, but she was quickly revealed to be a hoax.
The Wikipedia article, begun by authors under the impression that Amina was a real person, is a good record of the hoax. It appears that MacMaster has edited it on several occasions to try to make himself appear in a better light, from an account named Joatsimeon. Joatsimeon is the online handle of the SF author S.M. Stirling, whose fans objected strongly to the wrongful use of his name.
Now there have been further edits to the article by “LothianLiz” who is probably MacMaster too. And my question is, why does he pretend to be a woman? Why go on a lesbian website and flirt with a “lesbian” (also a man, as it turned out, though they fooled each other). Is it just a desire to take part in the discussions of marginalised groups? Or is he transsexual?
The pattern of lies and deceit fits that, we tie ourselves in terrible knots before we take up the courage to transition. And there is something feminine about the writing.
I am a woman. Some people, from ideology or ignorance, call me a man. And so I have a deep, abiding hatred of a man pretending to be a woman, because that is not what I am: yet my heart goes out to MacMaster if s/he is TS, and cannot admit it, perhaps even to herself.
LothianLiz managed to get away with her sneaky little edits for a while, cutting away some of the Wikipedia article which condemned MacMaster, but I stopped her/him, and reverted the edit. Soon, he will be able to vandalise the article, to make himself appear in a better light: but only because his fifteen minutes of notoriety have ended, and no-one cares any more.
There is no need to claim to have been abducted by the State: when I go away, I schedule posts to appear while I am away.
(Saturday 17th) Since I posted this, MacMaster has been visiting my blog daily: WordPress tells me the search terms used to find it, and by far the commonest in the last five days have been “Tom MacMaster” or similar. It must be hard, searching on your name, when there was so much published in June, and so little since. LothianLiz started editing Wikipedia on 24 July 2011 and on 22 July published an avatar with the name LothianLiz on IMVU.com, of an attractive lesbian in spike-heeled boots aged 36. Shortly after I mentioned the avatar here, I find that it has become private.
On Wikipedia, LothianLiz drew attention to Razan Ghazzawi, whose case may have received less Western attention because of MacMaster’s hoax, and claimed to want to edit and shorten the article on him because she did not want him to receive “glory”. This is not consistent with her actions. Indeed, there was little “glory” for MacMaster in the article, because all the sourced material showed contempt for him for the deception, but there were a few words which put him in a better light than he really deserved, and I have been through the article deleting them.
Oh, go on, Tom! Stop sneaking around! Leave a comment!