Freedom of Expression

The Lawyers’ Secular Society – How Members Forced A Vote And The No Case Made

This is a cross-post by John Sargeant from homo economicus

A source from the Lawyers Secular Society (LSS) has given me the No case document given to LSS members before they voted on whether to take part in the Mohammed Cartoon event, which takes place next month in London. Unpublished till now, I reproduce the document at the bottom of this post. The source also makes a sensational claim: that their secretary, Charlie Klendjian, originally made the unilateral decision for the LSS to support the Mohammed Cartoon exhibition. It was only when other members conveyed their displeasure, that the matter was then put to a vote of the membership.

This is in stark contrast to the post by Klendjian, defending the decision to share a platform with Geert Wilders and Paul Weston at the event:

“Being a decent bunch of lawyers who respect the rule of law, the LSS’s decision was put to a democratic vote of the whole membership. The membership voted in favour of the LSS speaking at the event”.

My source remarks:

“Unfortunately for Mr Klendjian the reality of what happened is somewhat different. Mr Klendjian actually decided that the LSS was going to take part in the event without any of its members being consulted. This subsequently led to some hasty backtracking when some LSS members conveyed their displeasure.

The fact of the matter was that LSS members were only given an opportunity to vote on an event for which its Secretary had already decided the LSS was going to be a part of. And this event was already being widely advertised with the LSS’s slogan. Call me stupid but that does not seem to be very democratic to me. In fact it seems no different from the ‘sham elections’ that take place across the world in which the outcome has already been pre-determined.”

I have no doubt that Klendjian wanted to show his support for Anne Marie Waters and her event. But the claim is Klendjian had planned to do so using the LSS without asking for a vote. That had to be requested from him, by other members.

Since his LSS post on July 30th 2015 defending sharing a platform, Klendjian has withdrawn from speaking at the event citing “personal reasons.” On August 2nd the LSS blog revealed the news, stating “The LSS is still happy to fully support the event and to be publicly associated with it. In fact, the LSS is currently making every effort to send a replacement speaker.”

As of August 12th, we still await finding out who this replacement speaker is, that wants to share a platform.

Do read the rest of John’s post, together with a response from Charlie Klendjian, here

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