by Ganesh Sahathevan
Dawood Ibrahim , once described by no less than the High Court of Australia as a benevolent Muslim industrialist, has recently taken up residence in Sydney. We ought to do to what we can to capitalize on Dawood's many talents and our agile and innovative Malcolm Turnbull ought to move quickly to do so.
For starters, appointing Mr Ibrahim to the Australia Council for the Arts would be an inspired choice , given his vast experience financing Bollywood movies,and given his connections in India, the UAE ,Pakistan ,Thailand and now Australia. He can do much to bring into the Australian creative industry more of Asia, changing the cultural environment that remains very much European in outlook and product. Ibrahim's appointment will be a clear signal to the world that Australia regards itself truly multicultural even to its creative core,
In making such an appointment the fact that Ibrahim is Muslim ought to be celebrated and it will serve as a strong signal to the local Muslim community that its contributions to the cultural fabric of this country will be treasured.
Sections of the community have rightly felt excluded from the Australian community and nowhere is this more evident than in the arts,where Anglo-Saxon actors and themes prevail. While it is true that the Muslim community is itself diverse, Ibrahim's cosmopolitan background should help bridge the differences.
Finally, in this climate of fear which Turnbull is doing the best he can to change, Ibrahim could prove a useful ally in convincing young Muslims ,and indeed all other migrant youth, that there are better , more fruitful options that they can pursue towards a rewarding fruitful future that can, like Ibrahim, profitably incorporate their Australia, Asian , Middle Eastern and Muslim heritage,