Outgoing Australia Post CEO Ahmed Fahour has suggested that criticism of him and his controversial $5.6 million salary has been because he is a Muslim.

Mr Fahour finishes at Australia Post today after more than seven years as CEO, in a tenure marked by controversy over his salary last year.He quit the high-profile position in February, when a Senate committee revealed his salary.Malcolm Turnbull was among those who suggested Mr Fahour take a pay cut, saying it was not a good look amid tight budgets and tough economic times.Mr Fahour left his position with $4.3m in his defined benefits pension plan.Speaking to ABC radio, Mr Fahour suggested his Islamic faith may have been a factor in the backlash over his salary.He said it was “for others to judge” if he faced greater public scrutiny because he was a Muslim.“I don’t want to spend too much time looking at that and thinking about that,” Mr Fahour told the ABC.“There are certainly some people who take exception with the fact that I might be Muslim, but for me that does not define me.”

“Some people”, “for others to judge”, “I don’t want to spend too much time looking at that”. And yet you did.

I don’t claim to be omniscient about the mainstream and the social media, but I have not encountered any instances of religious-based criticism of Mr Fahour. I’m reasonably sure that the punters would have complained just as much if a Presbyterian was earning 11 times as much as the Prime Minister of Australia for running a government-owned company. That aside, kudos to Mr Fahour for turning this albatross around the taxpayers’ necks around – in the second half of 2016 the company actually posted a $131 million profit, having finally seriously gotten into the e-commerce parcel delivery game, which is the only future for postal services around the world these days. Still, there is no reason for the government to run a company that now competes with a number of private enterprises in the same line of business. Privatise the beast.