Muslim Youth

Saarah Bhaiji, 16, folds one of her many headscarves at her home Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, in Glenview, Ill. Bhaiji teaches at the Muslim Education Center in Morton Grove on Sundays and attends Glenbrook South High School as a junior during the week, where she said her experience as a Muslim has been mostly positive. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Saarah Bhaiji, 16, folds one of her many headscarves at her home Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, in Glenview, Ill. Bhaiji teaches at the Muslim Education Center in Morton Grove on Sundays and attends Glenbrook South High School as a junior during the week, where she said her experience as a Muslim has been mostly positive. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Aasiyah Bhaiji, 13, listens during Islamic theology class at the Muslim Education Center Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, in Morton Grove, Ill. Bhaiji attends Islamic education classes on Sundays but goes to Springman Middle School in Glenview during the week. Because she only wears a headscarf to Sunday school and not in public, she said, she's sometimes heard insulting remarks about her religion by people who may not realize she is Muslim. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Aasiyah Bhaiji, 13, listens during Islamic theology class at the Muslim Education Center Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, in Morton Grove, Ill. Bhaiji attends Islamic education classes on Sundays but goes to Springman Middle School in Glenview during the week. Because she only wears a headscarf to Sunday school and not in public, she said, she's sometimes heard insulting remarks about her religion by people who may not realize she is Muslim. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Saarah Bhaiji, 16, speaks to students as she fills in for a teacher in Islamic theology class at the Muslim Education Center Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, in Morton Grove, Ill. Bhaiji teaches at the center on Sundays and attends Glenbrook South High School as a junior during the week, where she said her experience as a Muslim has been mostly positive. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Saarah Bhaiji, 16, speaks to students as she fills in for a teacher in Islamic theology class at the Muslim Education Center Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, in Morton Grove, Ill. Bhaiji teaches at the center on Sundays and attends Glenbrook South High School as a junior during the week, where she said her experience as a Muslim has been mostly positive. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

A copy of the Quran sits on a desk during an Islamic theology class at the Muslim Education Center Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, in Morton Grove, Ill. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

A copy of the Quran sits on a desk during an Islamic theology class at the Muslim Education Center Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, in Morton Grove, Ill. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

Saarah Bhaiji, 16, hands tests back to students as she helps out Dr. Sabah Khan in her Islamic theology class at the Muslim Education Center Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, in Morton Grove, Ill. Bhaiji teaches and occasionally helps out at the center on Sundays and attends Glenbrook South High School as a junior during the week, where she said her experience as a Muslim has been mostly positive. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Saarah Bhaiji, 16, hands tests back to students as she helps out Dr. Sabah Khan in her Islamic theology class at the Muslim Education Center Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, in Morton Grove, Ill. Bhaiji teaches and occasionally helps out at the center on Sundays and attends Glenbrook South High School as a junior during the week, where she said her experience as a Muslim has been mostly positive. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

From left, Aasiyah, 13, and Saarah Bhaiji, 16, walk with their mother Rehana as they leave Sunday school at the Muslim Education Center Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, in Morton Grove, Ill. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

From left, Aasiyah, 13, and Saarah Bhaiji, 16, walk with their mother Rehana as they leave Sunday school at the Muslim Education Center Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, in Morton Grove, Ill. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Saarah Bhaiji, 16, greets her cat Tokyo at her home Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, in Glenview, Ill. Bhaiji teaches at the Muslim Education Center in Morton Grove on Sundays and attends Glenbrook South High School as a junior during the week, where she said her experience as a Muslim has been mostly positive. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Saarah Bhaiji, 16, greets her cat Tokyo at her home Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, in Glenview, Ill. Bhaiji teaches at the Muslim Education Center in Morton Grove on Sundays and attends Glenbrook South High School as a junior during the week, where she said her experience as a Muslim has been mostly positive. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Aasiyah Bhaiji, 13, laughs as she shows a video a friend sent her (it's of her friend, sneezing in slow motion) to her mother Rehana at their home Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, in Glenview, Ill. Bhaiji, whose family is Muslim, wears a headscarf to Sunday school at the Muslim Education Center but takes it off when she gets home and doesn't wear one in public. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

Aasiyah Bhaiji, 13, laughs as she shows a video a friend sent her (it's of her friend, sneezing in slow motion) to her mother Rehana at their home Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, in Glenview, Ill. Bhaiji, whose family is Muslim, wears a headscarf to Sunday school at the Muslim Education Center but takes it off when she gets home and doesn't wear one in public. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

Aasiyah Bhaiji, 13, puts dishes away at her home Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, in Glenview, Ill. Bhaiji, whose family is Muslim, wears a headscarf to Sunday school at the Muslim Education Center but takes it off when she gets home and doesn't wear one in public. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Aasiyah Bhaiji, 13, puts dishes away at her home Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, in Glenview, Ill. Bhaiji, whose family is Muslim, wears a headscarf to Sunday school at the Muslim Education Center but takes it off when she gets home and doesn't wear one in public. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Saarah Bhaiji, 16, and her sister Aasiyah Bhaiji, 13, attend public school during the week and Sunday school at the Muslim Education Center in Morton Grove, Ill. where Saarah also teaches. Both spoke of having mostly positive experiences as Muslims with their peers at Glenbrook South High and Springman Middle Schools although Aasiyah, who only wears a headscarf to Sunday school and not in public, said she has encountered some insensitivity toward her religion when people around her don't realize she is Muslim. 

I spent an afternoon with the two sisters and their mother, Rehana, at the Muslim Education Center and later at home where the two girls made snacks and did homework. 

Read more about Saarah and Aasiyah's experiences in this Chicago Tribune story by Manya Brachear Pashman: Chicago area's Muslim youth fight stereotypes, suspicion