DUBAI

The Statue of Liberty was originally Muslim

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One of America’s best known landmarks was originally intended to be Muslim. Historian Michael B. Oren explains in his book “Power, Faith, and Fantasy” that French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi had drawn up plans to create a monumental statue in the form of an Egyptian fellah, or peasant women. He wanted to place it at the Suez Canal’s Port Said. As The Daily Beast writer Michael Daly notes, the fact that she was Egyptian means she was likely also Muslim.

Ultimately, Bartholdi was unable to raise funding for the project. He reworked his sketches to turn her into Lady Liberty, and set sail for America. The statue was officially presented to America in 1886 as a gift of the French and American people.