This essay is based on my own cultural background. It will explore the reasons for honour killing. There are female artists in the West who have used the idea honour killing in their works. Artist, Hayv Kahraman’s work becomes significant because it represents the state of women who are exploited and abused. Women’s position is such that they are caught between what Islam preaches and what the cultural dictates. This is because, Asian families expose their daughters to the western culture; daughters are not given the same life chances and opportunities as sons. The Muslim children are left perplexed and confused and left to cope with this form of sexism. First generation Muslim women were forced to marry at a younger age: a time when they did not realize the need for emotional, physical or economical dependence, they were married off. It is a disturbing notion that women from several so-called Islamic households are only seen as somebody’s possession, who are given away at the time of marriage. While sons carry on the family name, hence they are given more importance in a family structure. A prevalent backward custom practiced by most parents is to keep daughters at home who may or may not dishonor the family’s name; they are not proponent to invest in their daughters’ well-being and instead consider it a waste of money eventually women are not encouraged to pursue their aspirations. They are believed to have only three roles - to be a dutiful wife, bear children, and serve her family.
Times have changed; education is making a difference for the generation of today, letting women decide their own good. However, the education system propagates the western culture which is in direct contradiction with the ways of the East. Parents are not willing to accept that their daughters and sons have equal rights according to Islam. As a result, women feel the need to abandon their own Islamic beliefs and adopt those of the west. A Muslim woman’s position is such that she is helpless and cannot escape subjugation. Honor killings are committed if a woman is seen associating with the opposite sex she is assumed to put the family name to disgrace and is sentenced to death at the hands of her own family. The height of this injustice is such that women are the only ones who bear the burn of the honor killing. This essay will explore Hayv Kahraman’s works, which is rooted in the social context of Iraq’s Islamic society. She has managed to experiment with the idea of honor killings and incorporate it into her work. Her work shows the reality of the honor killings in a subtle way, and also questions the justification of such acts from the world outside. The isolated and hidden nature of honor killings and other such injustices against women are perpetual in patriarchal society. It is an important investigation since it helps highlight the idea of such crimes with formal and aesthetic concerns. Main Body In a traditional society, men are thought to believe that women are an “object owned by the man who assumes responsibility for her behavior and her life” [Mirza, 2005]. Women are expected to meet the demands of their father, brother or husband and should be forcefully domesticated. Since Islam gives importance to husband and their well-being, women are made to believe that their sole purpose is to fulfil the wishes of her husband or she will not enter paradise. However, the same men who live by this rule of thumb forget that the very same religion has given women far more important rights to remember and practice. For example, “the role of mother is given a higher status in Islam, the Prophet said that Paradise lies under a mother’s feet” [Unknown, 2007]. In Islam women have property rights and the rights to own wealth, to work, to get an education, to run a business and have the freedom to choose who to marry. However, at home, parents make justifications for the way they treat their daughters. Sons are seen as the