I have said before that certain words are overused or used inappropriately.  Iconic and literally come to mind.  There are another two words that are misused  more than almost any other: homophobia and Islamophobia.

A phobia is ‘an exaggerated or irrational fear’.  See any dictionary. Not everyone who dislikes dogs is ‘canophobic’, or whatever the word is.  But some are.  They are terrified of even a picture of a dog.  Ask yourself if you really think that everyone who is critical of Islam or of the gay rights movement has an exaggerated or irrational fear of it.

I am a Protestant.  I am not anti-catholic but I have views contrary to the Roman Catholic religion.  There is a lot I like about it and I certainly like a lot of Catholics.  Nobody would call me ‘catholophobic’ just because I have my criticisms of that Church or its doctrines.

So why can I not be allowed to express views critical of certain aspects of Islam without being called Islamophobic?  I am not afraid of Islam or of (most) Moslems and I do not accept that my criticisms are irrational.  That is for others to demonstrate.

In the same way, you might disagree with gay marriage without being afraid of gays.  The view that marriage is essentially between one man and one woman is no more irrational than is the opposite.

If this thinking spreads to other subjects, (Brexit?) all criticism and discussion will be stifled.  Words convey meaning.  We should be careful how we choose them.