Counterjihad movement activism
Links to Sharia Watch UK
Klendjian spoke at the launch of Sharia Watch UK in April 2014, hosted by Baroness Cox in the House of Lords. In his speech he mentioned what he saw as the ‘increasingly non-benign influence Islam is having on our way of life’. He worked closely with the organisation's founder Anne Marie Waters and contributed to its first report, which he promoted via the LSS website.
Klendjian gave a speech in Hyde Park in October 2014, alongside Anne Marie Waters. Video of the event shows that he spoke to Alan Ayling, former funder of the English Defence League, who as in the crowd watching the pair, as was Ann Marchini. It is not known if Klendjian knew who either person was.
Involvement in planned Mohammed cartoon exhibition
Klendjian's resignation from the LSS came after he had agreed to speak in his LSS capacity at a proposed exhibition of cartoons of the prophet Mohammed, which had been scheduled to take place in London in September 2015. The event was principally being organised by the group Sharia Watch, led by Klendjian's close associate Anne Marie Waters, a former UKIP candidate.
Klendjian initially defended the decision to speak at this event on a platform alongside Waters and other far-right figures including Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders and Paul Weston of Liberty GB, downplaying their well-known racism.
However, he subsequently pulled out of speaking, citing 'personal reasons' but claimed that the LSS remained supportive of the event and would sent a replacement speaker. No replacement speaker emerged and by mid August the proposed event was cancelled. Klendjian announced his resignation from the LSS on 19 August, citing 'security fears'.
A coming civil war?
Though a Hope Not Hate report stated that ‘there is no suggestion that Klendjian has associated himself with the calls for civil war', some of Klendjian’s speeches suggests he may buy into the idea of a ‘Coming Civil War in Europe’ a major theme in counterjihad discourse, viewed as inevitable because Islam and 'the West' are held to be incompatible.
Klendjian has argued, for instance, that if Sharia law is incorporated into the British legal system ‘we’ll have to fight to remove it, literally’. On another occasion he stated that 'civil disorder or something akin to a violent revolution’ might be required to reverse its influence, predicting ominously at the end of the same speech ‘we can either fight this battle now, with our words, or we can leave it to the generation that follows to fight it with their blood'.
At the University of Manchester Klendjian offered a similarly dystopian vision of a bloody future, arguing (at 4:07 in video, right) that: ‘there is a problem and anyone who denies there is a problem is part of the problem. If we don’t solve this problem with words we’re gonna have to solve it with our fists, our children are gonna have to solve it with their fists, they’re gonna have to solve it with their blood’.
'Islam is the problem'
In a speech Klendjian gave in Hyde Park in October 2014 he delivered a passionate anti-Islam diatribe, which included the following:
‘This is very serious. In the news only in the last few weeks: sharia councils, Alan Henning, FGM, honour violence, grooming gangs, Rotheram, 7/7, Lee Rigby, sharia welfare in controlled councils, Boko Haram…if all this is not enough for us to realise something is wrong, then what is? Heads on sticks in Marble Arch? When are you gonna get angry? When are you gonna get angry? You can see I’m f*cking angry. Get angry! Get f*cking angry! We can’t deny reality anymore. The reality is Islam is the problem.’
- Lawyers Secular Society (LSS) - Secretary and leading activist, resigned 19 August 2015.
- Anne Marie Waters - close associate
- The Lawyer, the Mohammed Cartoon Exhibition and the ‘Civil War’ that Wasn’t, Ceasefire Magazine, 7 September 2015.
- Find a Solicitor:Shahe Klendjian, Law Society, n.d., accessed 25 August 2015
- Hilary Aked, [The Lawyer, the Mohammed Cartoon Exhibition and the ‘Civil War’ that Wasn’t https://ceasefiremagazine.co.uk/lawyer-mohammed-cartoon-exhibition-civil-war-wasnt/], Ceasefire Magazine, 7 September 2015.
- Charlie Klendjian, The LSS is right to share a platform with Geert Wilders and Paul Weston, Lawyers' Secular Society, 30 June 2015, accessed 23 August 2015
- Charlie Klendjian cancels speaking engagement at Mohammed Exhibition, Lawyers' Secular Society, 2 August 2015, accessed 23 August 2015
- Charlie Klendjian leaves the LSS over security fears, Lawyers' Secular Society, 19 June 2015, accessed 23 August 2015
- Hope Not HateThe Muhammed Cartoons: the counter-jihadist plot to ignite a civil war in Britain, Hope Not Hate, July 2015