As a Muslim I am saddened and heartbroken that anyone could ridicule and denigrate our beloved Prophet Muhammad (s). I don't need to see the pictures nor do I want to, it is the mere thought that anyone could be so mean-hearted and narrow minded towards our Prophet (s). When they do so, it is like they are insulting our parents but 100 times more so.
How should we react? Should we insult them back? What would we be teaching our children? The answer comes from Prophet Muhammad (s) himself.
This is not the first time nor will it be the last that ignorant people will belittle what they don't understand and fear. Ridicule is, afterall, a tool of the weak and simple-minded because they don't have anything intelligent to say so they resort to making fun of and humiliating others.
Examples of Mercy from Prophet Muhammad (s)
Even during his lifetime, Prophet Muhammad (s) was treated worse than this. One time when he (s) was praying and prostrating at the Ka'bah, a non-believer poured the intestines of a camel on him. They thought to humiliate him but the Prophet (s) gave no reaction and stayed in prostration to Allah.
What does this teaches us? It teaches us to not retaliate in anger because we have a more powerful weapon. It is the power of the dua or supplication to Allah.
This was clearly demonstrated when Prophet Muhammad (s) went to Taif to tell the people there about Allah. Not only did they rejected him but they threw stones that made him bled and ejected him from the town. As he descended from Taif, which was nestled between the mountains, an angel came and told him that if he wished it, the angels of the mountain will crush the inhabitants of Taif. Prophet Muhammad (s) said no. He did not retaliated nor did he cursed the people of Taif, instead he made dua for them that their children will one day accept Allah as the One God (which happened soon after) (in Al-Bukhari).
There are so many incidences in the Prophet Muhammad's (s) life that showed his mercy towards all of creations. He never retaliated. He showed mercy and made dua for them. He looked at the bigger picture and the Message of Allah is bigger than himself. He didn't take it personally. He saw their weakness and made dua for them.
Look at the Bigger Picture
Yes, we are saddened and hurt that our beloved Prophet (s) is ridiculed. Yes, we dislike it intensely. It is alright to let people know that we are hurt and dislike it intensely in a nice mannered way that Prophet Muhammad (s) taught us and which is in opposition to what they are doing.
Then, let us move beyond the retaliation and look at their weaknesses and the bigger picture like Prophet Muhammad (s) taught us to do. Their weakness is that these people are either ignorant or mean-hearted and the bigger picture is that we should show them mercy and make dua that their children accept Islam.