Why Muslim Curtain? If you look out at how you could get from Europe to Asia, the promised land of goodies, you’d see a “wall” of Muslim states—Ottomans, Safavids, Mughals— blocking you by land and by sea. How to get around this—and get one over on the infidel Muslims, who were increasing in power and were richer than Europeans, and had, in 1453, conquered the bastion of Eastern Christianity when they took Constantinople—were high priorities for the Europeans.
Portuguese trading posts were designed not to conquer territory but to control trade routes by forcing merchant vessels to stop and pay duties.
By the mid-16th Century, Portuguese merchants had built more than 50 trading posts between west Africa and east Asia.
Alfonso d’ Albuquerque led the effort seizing Hormuz in 1508, Goa in 1510, and Melaka (Malacca) in 1511:
From these strategic sites, Albuquerque tried to control trade throughout the Indian Ocean
A “Portuguese lake”
He was only partially successful because of an insufficient number of ships to enforce his plan
Eventually the English and Dutch surpassed the Portuguese in the Indian Ocean
Albuquerque ended Muslim dominance by burning coastal towns and sinking Arab fleets Albuquerque took Malacca, massacring Muslims and making the Europeans hated and feared Religious intolerance caused resentment
the Portuguese sank Muslim pilgrim ships, destroyed Hindu temples, and introduced the Inquisition