Eid al-Fitr is the celebration at the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting to commemorate the revelation of the Qu'ran to Mohammad. During this month, from dawn to dusk each day Muslims fast from food, drink, medicine, smoking, and sensual pleasure. They "break their fast" in the evening after sundown, often with family and friends. More than just external observances, the month is meant to be a time of reflection and a time when the differences of wealth and status between people are minimized. Eid al-Fitr, or the feast of fast breaking, is the close of Ramadan and is a joyful time when people travel to be with families and send cards to one another. The celebration begins with a special prayer service.
Eid al-Adha, or the Great Feast, commemorates Abraham's obedience and his willingness to sacrifice his son to God (note that in the Islamic tradition, it is Ishmael that Abraham is going to sacrifice rather than Isaac as in our own tradition). This feast is celebrated each year during the hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca that most Muslims are expected to make at least once in their lifetime, but all Muslims, even those not on pilgrimage in Mecca, celebrate this feast. Families purchase an animal, such as a goat to be sacrificed and butchered in a ritual manner (similar to the way in which the Jewish people butcher meat in a kosher manner). The meat is then divided up and a portion is given to the needy, a portion is shared with one's neighbors, and a portion is kept for the family's feast.
Both of the feasts are remarkable celebrations, and all of us (including/especially those of us who are Christians) would do well to learn from the discipline and the charity of the Muslim people. To protest the fact that the post office issued a stamp commemorating these Islamic holidays (which in the email is incorrectly listed as a Christmas stamp) is petty and ignorant. It also ignores the fact that according to the US State Department there are 1209 mosques in the US and 2 million Muslims who are associated with mosques. The Second Vatican Council stated that
The Church has also a high regard for the Muslims. They worship God, who is one, living and subsistent, merciful and almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has also spoken to men. They strive to submit themselves without reserve to the hidden decrees of God, just as Abraham submitted himself to God's plan, to whose faith Muslims eagerly link their own. Although not acknowledging him as God, they venerate Jesus as a prophet, his virgin Mother they also honor, and even at times devoutly invoke. Further, they await the day of judgment and the reward of God following the resurrection of the dead. For this reason they highly esteem an upright life and worship God, especially by way of prayer, alms-deeds and fasting. - Nostra Aetate 3
What made the email even worse was that it listed a litany of offenses the "Muslims" have supposedly committed, including various bombings culminating with Sept. 11th. The Muslims did not commit any of those bombings; terrorists did. That the terrorists claim to be Muslim is similar to the way in which the Ku Klux Klan claims to be Christian and justifies their acts of terror and violence with quotes from the Bible. Any religion can be corrupted to be used for violent purposes; that does not make the religion itself responsible for those violent acts. Muslims are not terrorists. The fact that there are terrorists who are Muslim is no different than the fact that there have been people who claim to be "Christian" and "pro-life" and have then bombed abortion clinics. The actions of the terrorists are not condoned or supported by mainstream US Muslims, and to suggest that all Muslims are responsible for those atrocious acts is prejudice and the antithesis of what it means to be Christian.