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Don't Judge Muslims Until You Know All the Facts

The author of the letter ''Some Concerns About Muslims in America'' Feb. 20, refers to Muslim women as looking unhappy. Stereotypes paint us as intimidated, weak women, forced by our husbands and our faith to ''cover.'' The truth is not so simple. We come in all shapes, sizes, and strengths of character. Just because I may wear a frown sometimes doesn't mean I'm unhappy.

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I'm married to a gentle, intelligent man who loves me. We have a strong marriage and a good family life. It's my personal choice to wear a head scarf. Don't presume to judge me or my Muslim sisters until you've walked a mile in our scarves.

The writer also refers to female circumcision as though it were an Islamic custom. This is untrue. Female circumcision is an African tradition, still practiced today among a small minority of Muslims ignorant of Islamic law.

Kim Barghouti Hobbs, N.M.

Kasparov vs. 'Deep Blue'

Regarding the article ''Chess Challenge Highlights Man-Machine Differences,'' Feb. 15: The computer is acting under instructions; it is simply doing what it is told. Garry Kasparov, and for that matter any human chess player, is doing what no machine can: making creative choices in an effort to be better. The contest is primarily and ultimately with oneself. Defeating an opponent without doing one's best is never as satisfying as accomplishing the latter.

In humanity's quest to do and be better, the development of superfast, phenomenally complex computers is, still, a human achievement.

The matchup is interesting, but neither one threatens the other's success, and no one need be concerned that computers will be mistaken for people at any time in the future. Who is interested in seeing a computer play a computer?

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Jerry Jordan Portland, Ore.

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