chapter  12
14 Pages

Being Seen by Many Eyes: Muslim Immigrant Women in the United States

WithStates Garbi Schmidt

On a Saturday afternoon in the mid-1990s I found my way to one of Chicago’s largest mosques. My reason for visiting was to participate in a women’s study group that always met on Saturdays. When I arrived, only one other woman was present in the room where the meeting normally took place. Waiting for the rest of the group to turn up, we spent some time talking about life as a Muslim woman and my fieldwork project on Muslims in Chicago. The woman was in her late 30s – at least that is my guess, as she was covered from head to toe in a black gown that hid most of her features. While we were talking, one of her sons came in and teased his mother by running off with one of the black gloves that she had left on the table. ‘Oh, please give it back to me again’, she pleaded. ‘You know that I cannot walk out there [she pointed to the door] without my gloves.’