In the following century, men and women of faith waded into the battles over prison reform and temperance, public education and women's rights - and above all, abolition. But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren't simply controversial.
You know, a while back, I met a young man named Shamus [Seamus?] in a V.F.W. We shouldn't use the obstacles we face as an excuse for cynicism. It was Islam - at places like Al-Azhar University - that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe's Renaissance and Enlightenment. This bond is unbreakable. This history is well known. And any nation - including Iran - should have the right to access peaceful nuclear power if it complies with its responsibilities under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
And fellow Americans, Democrats, Republicans, Independents - I say to you tonight: we have more work to do. But we cannot walk away this time. And that's to be expected. This country of ours has more wealth than any nation, but that's not what makes us rich. America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own. In all nations - including my own - this change can bring fear.
Hope in the face of uncertainty. Today there are 12 million undocumented immigrants in America, most of them working in our communities, attending our churches, and contributing to our country. What the nay-sayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me.
And God is still speaking. It comes from Deuteronomy 30 when Moses talks to his followers about the challenges they'll find when they reach the Promised Land without him. And today, whenever I find myself feeling doubtful or cynical about this possibility, what gives me the most hope is the next generation - the young people whose attitudes and beliefs and openness to change have already made history in this election. And I will host a Summit on Entrepreneurship this year to identify how we can deepen ties between business leaders, foundations and social entrepreneurs in the United States and Muslim communities around the world.
Thank you, and God bless America.