We Were Taught to Hate Jews

‘It’s like asking me how often I drink water. Antisemitism was everywhere.’ Apostates, former Islamists, and an almost-terrorist on how they changed their minds.

By Madeleine Rowley, FREE PRESS Dec 16/23

Iranian protesters burn an Israeli flag during an anti-Israel rally at Enqelab-e Eslami (Islamic Revolution) Square. (Sobhan Farajvan via Getty Images)

The following five ex-Muslims grew up in Canada, Europe, and the Middle East, but they were all indoctrinated, they say, with the same views on Jews and Israel. They remember a childhood shot through with antisemitic moments ranging from the mundane (one woman recalls her aunt claiming Jews put cancer in her vegetables at the market) to the deadly (a former extremist went as far as to pick a location in London for a terrorist attack he planned to carry out at 17).

These hateful ideas, repeated by their family members, religious leaders, and teachers, are part and parcel of the same animus, they say, that fueled Hamas’s attacks on October 7.

Some of the people you will hear from below have received death threats for speaking out on issues like antisemitism and sexism in the Muslim world. One uses a pen name to protect herself and her daughter from her terrorist ex-husband, who is currently jailed in Egypt. All of them came to reject their loathing for Jewish people and the West, and have rebuilt their lives in the wake of their realizations. Here are their stories, which you can read or click to listen to each author recite in the audio recordings below.


December 16, 2023 | 1 Comment »

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  1. Thank you, brave ex Muslims, for speaking out. Would that more do too, and that the whole world study the source book of the hate, the Koran. For example, “Kill non-Muslims wherever you find them. Lie in wait and ambush them, seize and capture them using every strategem of war (for example, political, economic, propaganda and population explosion). Koran 9:5. This is just one of many translations given to me by former Muslims, now counter jihad activists.