The British built the Gallelighthouse in 1848. The mosque is used to this day
If the Europeans hadn’t colonized Sri Lanka, we’d probably be a Muslim country. The clash of civilizations is that old. Europeans and Muslims fought over the Indian Ocean and Europe won. That, however, was only one round of many. In his book, Monsoon, Robert Kaplan cites a myth about the Portuguese Prince Henry: “Henry began to plan a grand strategy to outflank the Islamic world from bases in the Indian Ocean. Thus, Prince Henry, this myth continues, developed an obsession with India.” He goes on to say that this myth is a true reflection of the unconscious strategy of the time.
The Europeans did not discover the Indian Ocean, Ottoman Turks, Safavid Iranians, Mughal Indians and Ming Chinese were doing quite well there before. Three out of those four empires were Muslim, to paraphrase Kaplan. The Europeans just conquered it, and thus the history.
The West and Islam have been clashing for hundreds of years, and the Indian Ocean was one battleground. The West won the colonial battle, but the Muslims won the colonization war. The Portuguese left forts. The Muslims still occupy Pilawoos.