I have a lot of families. Not in a child of divorce kind of way, but in a "I surround myself with quality people" kind of way. I have a big biological family but I have a huge chosen family. No matter how different each family is, I stick by one rule for everyone: you don't talk shit about your family to outsiders. My twin and I can laugh about the aunts but don't you dare tell me those ladies are anything but wonderful. It's not a hypocritical thing, as far as I'm concerned. When I tease my family, or vent about them, or (yes, sometimes) straight up complain, it's coming from a place of love. A place where I know the good and the bad and the weird and the fabulous and I respect all of it. Knowing all that, I vent because I know there is so much more to them than this one facet I'm focused on.
I consider my community another branch of my personal family tree. I'm from the Detroit area--Dearborn, Michigan. That's my hometown, and like it or not it will always be a part of me. If you've heard anything about Dearborn, it's very likely something about either Henry Ford or the large Muslim community. If it's the former, then you're older; probably old enough to retire. Most kids aren't full of Henry Ford fun facts unless they field tripped to his house and museum on multiple occasions. Of the two, it's more likely the latter.
I love my childhood community. I never really considered that it was a diverse population--that's how kids are, though. They accept as normal whatever you present to them. So I'd alternate my Merry Christmases with Happy Eids without batting an eye.
Terry Jones can't stop thinking about how diverse Dearborn is. The pastor from Florida has been to visit our community several times recently, and hasn't exactly been received with enthusiasm. He came here with the goal of rallying against Islamic law and Islamic extremists. Surrounded by a few supporters, he spoke at City Hall while so many more gathered across the street, protesting his words of hate. Terry Jones doesn't know anything about us. He knows hate and ignorance. He obviously doesn't know any Muslims. Our community, our family, is just like any other. And now he is coming back again this weekend to attack my family. He is concerned that we are being taken over. Well, Pastor Jones, I am not.
This weekend is a holiday weekend--it's Easter and Passover. I will be spending it with my family--my whole, extended family. And I wish Terry Jones would consider doing the same.