Astute observers of the contemporary scene may have noticed that islamophobia is one of the mortal sins identified by the left in the list of hatespeech offences . It is helpful to know that phobia signifies fear, not hatred, as in the list of items that can cause alarm, sometimes to a seriously disabling extent – fear of closed spaces, crowds, open spaces, water, birds, spiders – the list is very long. My favourite is number 26, what is yours?
People may have also noticed that the sacred book of one of the great religions contains passages that condone a number of practices that are likely to cause concern and even fear among people living in communities dominated by the adherents of that great religion. Christians in Africa and the Middle East have good reason to fear the influence of that book and its adherents. A great many of them are not fearful any more because they are dead.
Environmental fundamentalism has become another great religion in modern times and in the sacred books of this religion carbon pollution is depicted as a very bad thing, something to fear and maybe even to hate. Perhaps carbonophobia needs to be added to the list.