The Alim discusses the overuse of Islamophobia, saying
This inability discern goes back to the point that British Muslims are 'culturally illiterate' who take any sort of criticism or opposition as a form of hatred upon us and our beliefs. We end up opposing all such opinions and views through demands for more rights from the state and society, rather than trying to distinguish between them, and perhaps using them to our advantage. Combatting Islamophobia should mean combatting exclusion, bigotry, racism and hatred against Muslims and treating Muslims as 'serious adults', who can bring something to the societies in which they live and their acknowledging critiques do not merely mask a bid for political power. It should not mean shielding them or their beliefs from the critical eye of the onlooker or the outsider; we have the intellectual resources, across the religious, political and social spectrum to be able to meet the challenges that might be posed.
OK this is a very important point. However we also have to remember that the Alim is British and the situation of muslims in Britain is more analogous to labor class like black people and latin immigrants in the US. Here in the US muslims are more like jews in pre-war europe, in other words we are educated and affluent and yet also scary and foreign to the mainstream people even though we are very similar and share lots of values (america is a very conservative country, socially i mean). Obviously this is a generaliztion and the Alim is certainly not a laborer and not all muslims in the US are professionals.
So in the UK Islamophobia is like american blacks decrying racism. There are probably many cases of overuse but at the same time that vigilance does put pressure on the society keeping it from reverting to its base racist instincts (and having visited UK and europe many times I can say that anyone who says that they are not deeply racist people towards muslims or pakis as I got called all the time in public, is just being ignorant and maybe even dishonest).
In the US though Islamophobia is more like what Jews have successfully done in that it keeps the community vigilant against a recurrence of fear. I don't think that europe was "racist" towards Jews, it just hated them. Jews were white after all, they were therefore hated for their belief and identity, not their color. There is a subtle difference. Same goes for muslims in US because here we are not all one ethnic type and in fact anyone can be a muslim even a white person. So it is hate that we are vigilant against.
Is overuse of Islamophobia bad? yes probably but what is worse in both cases is what bad tendencies would accumulate without the watchers of islamophobia to poinnt them out. The jewish community in the US is probably the best friend of american muslims because we have a lot to learn from them and they have seen it all before. Lots of jews in the US think that because the US is pro-israel that means that they are safe from hatred from the christian majority and only focus on the threat from occassional stupid muslim punks (really not an "existential" threat to them at all!). In fact Jews because of their history now see every threat as existential no matter how minor. But anyway the Chritsian majority here is fickle and they would prefer to undermine the very freedom structure that makes it possible for us all to live here. The Terry Schiavo case and stem cells and rules about sex between adults and all that means that the Christian majority doesn't care about the Bill of Rights but rather forcing society here to be explicitly Christian according to their views. That is the actual agenda at hand - not a theocracy, but more like a mainstreaming by force of their morality. Just look at conservative republican sites and how they say that "tolerance" and "diversity" is bad and that all social issues of policy have a moral dimension. So anyway we need to be very watchful even though in many cases we share those values for the most part.