PORTLAND, Maine — Portland police are investigating a hate crime against the Muslim community. Anti-Muslim graffiti was spray painted on the side of the Portland Halaal Market early Sunday morning.

When employees of the Portland Halaal Market arrived at work Sunday morning they saw red graffiti spray painted on the side of the building with a derogatory phrase referring to Allah. However, the vandal misspelled Allah as “Alah.”

Muktar Haji, a Somali living in Portland, says the graffiti was meant to insult just the Muslim community but he says it is an insult to everyone. “They insulted all religions whether it’s Christian or Muslim or another one because all of us have one God and if someone says bad things to God that means it’s not only Muslim, it’s everybody,” Haji said.

One neighbor says the area is usually quiet, but he has seen and heard racism there before. “People should be ashamed of themselves if they think like that. I think there’s a certain amount of racism. I think some people view the Somalian as Muslims and they automatically get a bad rep,” David McFarland, neighbor, said.

But McFarland says whatever their reason is it is still not okay. “They should really look at themselves in the mirror and really evaluate how they view other races and other cultures,” McFarland said.

Portland police say because of the content of the graffiti and its placement on a business that caters to the Muslim community, the incident is being treated as a hate crime.

Police say surveillance video shows a white male wearing a black hooded sweatshirt spray painting the phrase at 5 a.m. Sunday morning.

The graffiti was cleaned up by Sunday afternoon.

If you have any information, please call Portland police.