A Saudi Arabian student attending the University of Utah thinks the end of the Persian Gulf war may signal a chance for people of various religions - Muslims, Chris
tians and Jews - to live together peacefully in the Middle East."We were living for thousands of years in the area with no problems, as neighbors," said Abdal Aziz Al Sudairy in a Deseret News interview Saturday.
"I don't think that there is going to be a problem in the future except if a few carry on the ignorant animosity."
Sudairy started at the university in 1983, stayed a year, but then had to return to his home in Riyadh when his stepfather died. He came back to the U. in 1987 and is studying history. He is married, with two children born in the United States.
"The Arabs have to realize that war is not a means to solving problems. Disputes have to be settled in a civilized fashion - no more terrorism."
According to Sudairy, Saddam Hussein fooled the world for a time, and God will not forgive him for his bad intentions.
"What he has done for his people, he has to face it. . . . Saddam's actions against Kuwait, the looting of the nation, the rape of the nation, the killing of the people unjustly - that's something that can never be corrected.
"He and the people who took the orders, like the Baath Party and the high army officials, they are all responsible for it, like criminals."
Sudairy believes that the West and the Arab world will get along, "because this is a victory from God for justice. This will have blessings on all of us, even for the Israelis who did not participate in it (the war)."
Sudairy said there should be no animosity between Muslims and Christians. "The so-called Muslims who were defending Saddam, they went against everything that is said in the Quran (in the West, often spelled Koran), our holy book.
"Our religion is peaceful. And it recognizes the other religions as well - it recognizes the Jews and the Christians as people of the Book of God. Now, we differ in our practices, but we have the same high standards, that is, in our belief of God."
The Muslim religion doesn't give permission to go out and kill Christians or Jews, he said, like the people who supported Saddam did.
"These are a minority, but they have done the most damage to the reputation of Muslims. We have no hatred against you."
Sudairy said he has no doubt that if the United States had not rushed troops to the Saudi-Kuwaiti border after the aggression by Iraq, that Saddam would have invaded his country.
"I don't think, I know, he would have gone to Saudi Arabia, and I know he would have done the same thing to our oil as he has done to the Kuwaiti oil - he would have burned it. He would have held it hostage, and he would have put on his conditions.
"He wanted to control the oil for his evil purposes."
As evidence of Saddam's intention to invade Saudi Arabia at that time, he cited eyewitness accounts and intelligence that "he did not dismount his tanks from the trailers that were carrying them down to the southern part of Kuwait."
At that time, the Iraqi armies were at the border of Saudi Arabia, poised to attack the Saudi oil fields.
"We asked the Americans to come in and thank God they did that quickly," Sudairy said.