|"Amina Araff"? No... it's Tom MacMaster. [ref]|
Trust the Guardian to get it wrong.
According to them Tom MacMaster impersonated a fictional Amina Araff, who wrote "Gay girl in Damascus" blog, and fellow impersonator Bill Graber invented his "Paula Brooks", because they wanted to promote the lesbian agenda. "...
But that wasn't it, was it?
According to MacMaster himself -- and there's little reason to doubt him on this --- he did it to get a different persona that would be taken more seriously than would a western white guy. As he said about his postings:
"While the narrative voice may have been fictional, the facts on this blog are true and not misleading as to the situation on the ground."
In his judgement that he would be taken more seriously than just another cranky old white guy, he was no doubt correct: daily hits to "her" site soared. As Golberg says in his LA Times piece, of 14 June:
'MacMaster's ploy really worked. People desperately wanted to believe in this "hero": a saucy, sage, left-wing member of the LGBT community who likes to wear the hijab, can't stand Israel or George W. Bush and who parrots every cliche about the romantic authenticity of the Arab people and their poetic yearning for democracy, peace and love. Whereas no one cared about McMaster's "Anglo" arguments, Amina's assertions succeeded with little effort. For instance, "she" writes of the Palestinians' need to return to their homes inIsrael: "It's simple but, maybe, you have to be a Levantine Arab to get this. It makes perfect sense to me." Of course it does!'
Mark Steyn as usual nails it with crisp crunchiness:
Western liberals, who think that in the multicultural society the nice gay couple at 27 Rainbow Avenue can live next door to the big bearded imam with four child brides at No. 29 and gambol and frolic in admiration of each other's diversity. They will proffer cheery greetings over the picket fence, the one admiring the other's attractive buttock-hugging leather shorts for that day's Gay Pride parade as he prepares to take his daughter to the clitoridectomy clinic.