(CNSNews.com) - "Yes, these are unsettling times," President Obama told Germans on Monday, as he lectured them on the need to "welcome and integrate people of all backgrounds and faiths and make them feel as one. And that includes Muslims," he said.
Obama was speaking in a nation that has absorbed more than a million refugees fleeing Syria and other Middle Eastern and African nations, many of them Muslims.
"And when the future is uncertain, there seems to be an instinct in our human nature to withdraw to the perceived comfort and security of our own tribe, our own sect, our own nationality -- people who look like us, sound like us, but in today's world, more than any time in human history, that is a false comfort.
"It pits people against one another because of what they look like or how they pray or who they love."
Obama told the Germans that such "twisted thinking" can lead to oppression, segregation, internment camps and the "Shoah" (Holocaust).
"In the United States, we've long wrestled with questions of race and integration, and we do to this day," he said. "And we still have a lot of work to do, but our progress allows someone like me to now stand here as president of the United States. That's because we committed ourselves to a larger ideal...to a set of principles.,.truths that we held to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.
"And now as Europe confronts questions of immigration and of religion and of assimilation, I want you to remember that our countries are stronger, they are more secure and more successful when we welcome and integrate people of all backgrounds and faiths and make them feel as one. And that includes our fellow citizens who are Muslim.
Obama admitted that the sudden arrival of so many people from beyond one's borders, especially when their cultures are very different, can be "daunting."
"We have immigration issues in the United States as well, along our southern border of the Unitd States; for people arriving from all around the world who get a visa, decide they want to stay.
"And I know the politics of immigration and refugees is hard -- it's hard everywhere, in every country.
"And just as a handful of neighborhoods shouldn't bear all the burden of refugee resettlement, neither should any one nation. All of us have to step up, all of us have to show the responsiblity. That includes the United States.
President Obama has pledged to admit a total of 10,000 Syrian refugees to the United States in fiscal year 2016, and the State Department last February established a special refugee “resettlement surge center” in Amman, Jordan, aimed at speeding up processing times, to ensure that goal is reached.
As CNSNews.com reported, of the total of 1,295 Syrian refugees admitted since the Islamic State terrorists attacked Paris last November, giving rise to concerns about terrorist exploitation of refugee programs, only five (less than 0.4 percent) are Christians.
The majority – 1,244, or 96 percent – are Sunni Muslims, while the rest comprise 17 Shi’a Muslims, 18 other Muslims, 10 Yazidis and one individual identified as “other religion.”