Our contributor Alamgir Hussain, who grew up Muslim, has written about his journey from a Jew-hater to a lover of Jews. Happy Valentine's Day to him and to all who eschew the hatred of others based on race, religion, or other in-born characteristics.
As a Muslim, one just grow up hating Jews. As soon as the kids start understanding things, they are brainwashed with how the Jews of Medina had insulted and fought with our beloved prophet. This starts at too early age when Muslim kids haven't grown old enough to know how to question. So, they never get to know the details. They just grow up with that hatred of the Jews ingrained in their heart and mind.
Although I personally grew up a believing Muslim with engaging myself nominally with the rituals and scriptures (which was the case with more than eighty percent of the young people during that time), I also grew up with that hatred against the Jews without ever meeting one, nor knowing the details of the circumstances that had lead to the conflict between the Jews and our Prophet. For the first time, however, I raised the question of why Muslims have to hate the Jews when I was a third-year undergraduate student, while discussing about some event that took place in -Israel/Palestine with a few friends (more religious and knowledgeable in Islam). The answer I got was that the Jews fought and insulted the prophet and Allah says in the Koran that Jews are a cursed people who will never find a abode to live in peace (my recent investigation into Islam finds it absolutely true). That was a good enough a reason - when Allah (the Creator) has said so, it does not require any further questioning and explanation. I didn't question it for another 15 years until the following experience that changed my life significantly.