A Muslim student at the University of Duisburg-Essen in western Germany ripped up part of a graphic novel exhibit featuring artwork by notable Israeli artist and Tel Aviv resident Rutu Modan.
The female student was not identified by German media beyond her gender, reports The Jerusalem Post.
The exhibit, entitled “What Comics Can Do! Recent Trends in Graphic Fiction,” opened at the end of May in the library of the university that enrolls close to 40,000 students.
Late last month, the offended Muslim student used scissors to cut certain images from a collage including parts of Modan’s most famous graphic novel, “Exit Wounds” (called “Blutspuren” in German).
One feature of the montage related to Modan was a peace demonstration set in Israel. The collage also included a poster with the word “Shalom,” a Hebrew word signifying complete peace.
As a result of the student’s handiwork, school officials promptly closed the exhibit.
Rector Ulrich Radtke said that school officials would meet with the Muslim student and discuss what she did, notes the Post. He also said that the school may reprimand her in some way, including by instigating legal aciton.
Reviews of “Exit Wounds” are generally favorable at web retail giant Amazon.com. Close to two dozen critics give the graphic novel an average of four-and-a-half stars.
“Set in modern-day Tel Aviv, a young man, Koby Franco, receives an urgent phone call from a female soldier,” reads the Amazon summary. “Learning that his estranged father may have been a victim of a suicide bombing in Hadera, Koby reluctantly joins the soldier in searching for clues.”
Left-wing German journalist Pascal Beucker suggested that the Muslim vandal had “an anti- Israel, if not anti-Semitic motive,” according to The Jerusalem Post.
Beucker also wrote that school officials are baffled by the incident.
The Post highlights German media accounts indicating that additional unnamed Muslim students were offended by the larger exhibit.
A part of the exhibit featuring the epic, complex graphic novel “Habibi” by American author Craig Thompson proved particularly provoking to Muslim student sensibilities because of its sex scenes and because it contains a depiction of the word “Allah” in Arabic calligraphy.
The part of the exhibit including Thompson’s work does not appear to have been vandalized.
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