What hapens if we give respect to the innovators?
Imaam ash-Shaatibee explains this beautifully in his book al-’Itisaam:
And if a person gives respect to an innovator then this creates two major problems that will in reality aid in the destruction of Islaam.
FIRST: If you respect people of innovation then the general masses will be deceived by this and will presume (due to the importance you are giving this innovator) that he is the best of all mankind, and that which he is upon (i.e. his innovation) is good and thus people will follow his innovation and leave off the Sunnah.
SECOND: If you respect the people of innovation then this will serve as a motivation for them and encouragement and this in turn will cause them to increase in more innovations and thus innovations will come to life and the Sunnah will die, since these two things cannot coexist.
[Taken from al-'Itisaam by Imaam ash-Shaatibee p.32-33]