Bahá’í faith community rallies around graffiti victim

Hasel Afshar's home was vandalized earlier this week

A home in Troutdale was recently vandalized and heavily damaged. (KOIN)

TROUTDALE, Ore. (KOIN) — Members of the Bahá’í faith community are coming together to support a Troutdale man whose home was vandalized earlier this week.

Hasel Afshar left Iran in 2010 to escape persecution for his practice of the Bahá’í faith. As a refugee in America, now he’s facing it again.

Afshar returned home from several days away to find the inside of his home covered with spray painted hate graffiti. Words painted on his walls, cabinets, even the fridge — called him a terrorist. The vandal evidently believed Afshar is a Muslim.

Hasel Afshar came home from a 3-day trip to find his home extensively vandalized, March 29, 2017. (KOIN)

“It was very unfortunate that such a thing could happen to an individual, especially being here in Oregon where we feel we are a very tolerant community and state,” Gita Enayati, a member of the Bahá’í community, said.

Enayati said while the religion comes from Iran, it is not related to Islam.

“The basic premise of the Bahá’í faith is unity and it really is about accepting each other’s differences being tolerant, not having prejudice,” Enayati said.

She said while the vandalism of Afshar’s home is disheartening, it’s important not to let the actions of a few tarnish the spirit of a community.

“We are all completely supportive of him, and have offered our assistance,” she said.

A GoFundMe account was created to raise money for Afshar, and it has already exceeded its $10,000 goal. He has requested that the money go to a social justice charity organization.

According to the GoFundMe page, the company Afshar works for sent professionals to clean and repair the damage to his home.