A few days ago, Pakistan’s Twitter was set ablaze due to what was a pretty odd display. University students were seen celebrating some supposed “Bollywood Day.” And besides the absurdity of their dress-up attire, observers noted that it was an unwanted and unwarranted tribute to India’s main cinema industry, one which has, over the decades, promoted both anti-Pakistan and anti-Islam tropes.
This fiasco took place at LUMS, i.e., the Lahore University of Management and Sciences.
LUMS had also hosted the following event just a few days ago:
LUMS: A Liberal-Feminist Lab
It’s not even the first time that LUMS stands accused of blatant liberal and feminist activism. It regularly hosts feminist or feminist-oriented conferences, and some of the academics that are affiliated with the institution, such as Nida Kirmani (associate professor of sociology), are public figures who regularly take proactive stances when it comes to “women’s empowerment.”
Pervez Hoodbhoy, perhaps the most famous liberal-secularist activist in the country, also had a brief career with LUMS but was eventually ousted for apparently not fulfilling his administrative duties, which included recruiting faculty members and mentoring junior faculty members.
You could make a pretty long list of former and current LUMS academics who harbor nefarious agendas—for example, there’s Sara Shroff’s “digital feminist theory.”
It is thus no wonder then, that in eyes of Pakistan’s public, LUMS is associated with liberalism, feminism and, more generally, progressivism.
What could explain this phenomenon?
Well, it’s probably the American dollars.
LUMS was founded in the ’80s by businessmen who wished to cater to professional managers that aimed to optimize their enterprises. It was modeled upon the Harvard Business School, where the founder of LUMS, Syed Babar Ali, himself was educated; emulating, in particular, the school’s teaching methods.
Initially, it held classes within rented buildings and houses of Gulberg, a town in Lahore. Then, however, in 1989, some 10 million US dollars from the United States Agency for International Development money (USAID) ensured that LUMS now has a 100-acre permanent campus.
Thanks to US dollars, LUMS transformed from being a business school, instead to a university that focuses on research in the social sciences in particular—namely, in subjects such as anthropology and sociology. After all, you wouldn’t be able to inject your feminist rhetoric into the other sciences as effectively as you could in these.
As mentioned explicitly on its website, USAID has an entire Gender Equality and Female Empowerment program that it employs in Pakistan.
A few months ago, the US allocated no less than $200 million towards “gender equity and equality programs” in Pakistan.
It goes without saying that the liberal-feminist astroturfing in LUMS (and elsewhere) will utilize all of this American money for its teaching programs, conferences and more, in order to enact the “campus culture wars” that can often be seen in the Anglosphere, with its own rotten brand of SJWs.
Readers will thus be able to see the larger picture:
LUMS is not something organic to the country. It is an obvious PSYOP on a much larger academic scale, one that finds its rationale and perhaps even its existence in the continuous outpouring of US support, particularly US money.
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Is LUMS Representative of Pakistan?
Pakistan is a large country. In the official 2017 census, its population was estimated at being close to 220 million. However, mut more recent estimates put bring it closer to 250 million.
It goes without saying that the faculty and even the student body at large in LUMS is not at all representative of the wider trends within the general population of Pakistan.
In fact, the reality is that they would likely be at odds with the average Pakistani.
This becomes quite evident when examining the findings of the World Values Survey (WVS), which describes itself as follows:
The World Values Survey (www.worldvaluessurvey.org) is a global network of social scientists studying changing values and their impact on social and political life, led by an international team of scholars, with the WVS association and secretariat headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden.
The survey, which started in 1981, seeks to use the most rigorous, high-quality research designs in each country. The WVS consists of nationally representative surveys conducted in almost 100 countries which contain almost 90 percent of the world’s population, using a common questionnaire. The WVS is the largest non-commercial, cross-national, time series investigation of human beliefs and values ever executed, currently including interviews with almost 400,000 respondents. Moreover the WVS is the only academic study covering the full range of global variations, from very poor to very rich countries, in all of the world’s major cultural zones.
The WVS seeks to help scientists and policy makers understand changes in the beliefs, values and motivations of people throughout the world. Thousands of political scientists, sociologists, social psychologists, anthropologists and economists have used these data to analyze such topics as economic development, democratization, religion, gender equality, social capital, and subjective well-being. These data have also been widely used by government officials, journalists and students, and groups at the World Bank have analyzed the linkages between cultural factors and economic development.
In its “Wave 7” (from 2017 to 2022) findings, we find that Pakistani women tend to actually be more traditionalist and less secular the more “educated” they are:
Counter-intuitive stats: In Pakistan, women who are more educated tend to be more religious & nationalistic, & less ‘secular.’ The trend is surprisingly linear—most educated women display the highest levels of religiosity & nationalism, & the least secularization (and vice versa)
You can peruse the numbers on WVS’ Online Data Analysis.
This aligns with trends that exist elsewhere in the Muslim world, something that is also highlighted in the important Inglehart–Welzel world cultural map. Its latest edition was released just a few days ago:
All of these statistics must be borne in mind when we’re tempted to make generalizations about any Muslim-majority society, especially when virtually all of these societies are victims of some kind of elite takeover, by an elite that represents the interests of some Western capital rather than those of their “own” populations.
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