Many of us lack the knowledge about Islam and the Last Messenger of God, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). And because of such ignorance about the faith in western society we see a deep lack of sensitivity of islamic values. There is a big difference between the emotional attachment about Prophet Muhammad by the Muslims and that of Jesus's follower about Jesus Christ (peace be upon him). The west's knowledge is limited to Jesus Christ and thus a parallel can be drawn to make sense of the deep emotion from the Muslims for the Prophet.
While we see in the historical context from the New Testaments and Gospels that the Prophetic Mission of Jesus Christ was not hugely successful in his life time (it was Paul and other who contributed greatly in the propagation of what we know of Christian today). He was time and time again refused and bad treated even by his followers. It was his followers who left him in isolation, didn't listen to him. Even when the night before Jesus was captured by the officials for trial, when he asked his followers just to be awake and wait, they even failed to do so. And finally it was one of his disciple who betrayed and exchanged a messenger of God with a few coins.
In stark contrast the companions of Prophet Muhammad in his contemporary times were so devoted that they sacrificed everything for the Prophet of God. Some gave away every possession for the religion and the Prophet, numerous of them gave away their life. One only has to read the life of the companions of Muhammad to understand the deep love it was given in the hearts for him.
Why was that? Well, first of all that deep love was inspired in the heart of the companions of the Prophet who being the last messenger from God needed much greater support to establish a kingdom of God on earth. He was the promised Prophet after Jesus Christ who will bring justice and words of God (Quran). In that sense, his prophetic mission was far greater and bigger when compared to any other prophets in the history of mankind. When he was at the end of his prophetic mission, millions of people were already embracing his message.
Because of his extra-ordinary compassion, personality he was loved by everyone whom he met. Even his own ideological enemies said that when it comes to personal integrity, Muhammad was the best man they have ever seen.
Thus to make sense the emotional attachment one should read more about the Prophet and his companions. Some of the links here may be useful.
:: Life of Prophet Muhammad
:: Biographies of the Prophet
:: Companions of the Prophet
:: Memoirs of Noble Prophet
:: Wikipedia article of Muhammad
:: Prophet Muhammd foretold in Testaments
:: Prophet Muhammad prophecy in Hindu Scripture