A 9-year-old displayed a sign reading ‘God hates no one’ at a protest by the Westboro Baptist Church, known for its ‘God hates fags’ signs.
The mother and son were at the Washburn University in Topeka when they witnessed the protest by the church, which regularly pickets funerals to protest against homosexuality, abortion and other issues.
Ms Akrouche posted the photo of her son to Facebook and wrote: “After our walk around Washburn campus, we ran into the Phelps… Josef was determined to make his own statement so we went to the car and with pencil and his sketch pad, he made up his own little sign that reads “GOD HATES NO ONE”.
“I have never been prouder. Those people are scary but he stood strong, was respectful and stood by his convictions. He will be a good man, I have no doubt. I got my Mothers Day present early.”
In a video posted to Facebook after the event, Ms Akrouche’s son said: “I stood up to the Westboro Baptist Church and there are some things I want to say about it. One, why I did it: I hate those signs, I hate them and I want to stop them. Two, the way I feel about it is that I can do anything if you let me. And three, we should all respect each other, even if our ideas are not the same.”