A Muslim student's vandalization of a university seminar's cartoon exhibit at the Universität Duisburg-Essen (UDE) in Germany's Ruhr region has once again manifested Islamic intolerance of critical commentary and independent intellectual inquiry. The affair's aftermath, moreover, sadly shows yet again how democratic public authorities are often less than vigilant in defending freedom against the encroachments of Muslim faith.
The controversy began with the exhibit "What comics can do – Recent trends in graphic fiction," opened by UDE's Department of Anglophone Studies (DAS) on May 23, 2013, in the university library. In the exhibit department students used posters to analyze the cartoon genre Graphic Novels. The students examined 14 of these novels in which book-length cartoon series treat mature subject matter.
One of the Graphic Novels examined in collage posters was Habibi, a tale of child (sex) slaves in Muslim Arab society by the award-winning American graphic novelist Craig Thompson. As the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ) reported, this widely available, 2011 published book has aroused no indication "of being orient-hostile." Thompson himself in a 2011 German interview described Habibi as "among other things a reaction to the increasing Islamophobia in the United States after 2001."