As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam. It was Islam... that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe’s Renaissance and Enlightenment. ...Islam? Islam carried the light of learning through centuries? The same "religion of peace" that violently persecuted those thinkers in the years prior to 1000AD who tried to adopt and teach Aristotelian philosophy? It was Islam, not a few Arabs drawing upon Greek philosophy, that is responsible for birthing the Enlightenment?
I strongly recommend that you head over to The Charlotte Capitalist blog and read an excellent and detailed historical account, drawn from multiple sources, that rips apart the President's despicable distortion of history. I'm sure his words played well with his target audience, stroking their fragile egos as they try to evade the fact that the only intellectual progress their culture made in all of history was due to ancient Greek philosophy. But he performs a grave disservice, and as The Charlotte Capitalist said, "It is a disgrace because it attacks not only the true tool of human progress (reason), but it attacks the philosophical and historical roots of the country of which he is president."