For quite some while now, I have been meaning either to write this myself or to come across someone else writing this. Since the Australian blogger Russell Blackford beat me to it and I read him saying it this afternoon, here it now is:
Unfortunately, the impression has been created by many Muslim leaders that Islam seeks to control all aspects of individuals’ lives and does not shrink from using secular power to achieve its aim. We are all well aware of extreme examples in recent history, such as Afghanistan under the benighted Taliban regime. Until that fear is laid to rest, it is quite rational for the rest of us to fear Islam’s political ambitions – which is one reason why the word “Islamophobia” is so stupid. A phobia is an irrational fear, but secular Westerners actually have perfectly rational reasons to be at least wary of Islam …
In my experience there is nothing quite like the best sort of Australian academic or intellectual for calling bullshit bullshit.
Forgive me if someone has already said this exact thing here already. What many writers and commenters here have definitely said many times is that much of the art of the propagandist lies in the inventing of and the destruction of words. The bad guys invent bad words and destroy good ones. We good guys invent good words and destroy bad ones. And “islamophobia” is a very bad word indeed.