A frequent, almost unconscious gesture from Anisah Huda and the women, was to check the perimeter of the scarf round the face for any strands of hair that might need tucking back. I found myself doing the same.
The book is packed with the in-depth research that underpins the central thesis. This is well set out in the final conclusion to the book. I won’t try to paraphrase or recapture it, but just quote one of the passages that highlight the complex interrelationships that make up identity, and why that matters:
The women’s mosque movement can be understood in terms of shifting allegiance from kinship community to the wider Muslim ummah, as it finds local realization within the mosque sorority. This change of allegiance is strong enough to challenge certain traditional norms of kinship loyalty, cultural compliance, and obedience to government authorities.