I was recently called a racist because I criticised Islam. The argument was about why the term "Islamophobia" exists when no other religion seems to have acquired the "phobia" status. A phobia is an irrational fear and therefore seems to indicate that being frightened of Islam is irrational. The thing is, I was called a "racist" in this argument and Islam is not a race, it is a religion. You only have to look up the definition of "race" to see that.
So, you can understand why people might be afraid if they are going to be called racist for criticising what is "an opinion" - because that's what religion is. It's not irrational to fear something that has power and could potentially change the way you live your life and limit your free speech.
So, Islamophobia is the wrong word and is designed to imply that there should be no reason to fear an ideology that refuses to be criticised and wants to be protected so by law. (fascism). Racist is also wrong, because "an Opinion" is not innate and neither are faiths or beliefs.
Crying racism when someone criticises your belief does little for the true fight against real racism. It's about as useful as those who falsely cry "rape" do for the fight against rape.