Western history books have made out the 15th century Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama as a hero. But a study of his life shows him to be a cruel Islamophobe who carried out acts of merciless brutality:
On reaching India in October 1502, Gama’s fleet set about capturing any Arab vessel he came across in Indian waters, most notoriously the Miri, a pilgrim ship from Makkah, whose passengers he had massacred in open water. During his second voyage to Calicut, da Gama intercepted a ship of Muslim pilgrims at Madayi travelling from Calicut to Makkah.
Described in detail by eyewitness Thomé Lopes and chronicler Gaspar Correia as one that is unequalled in cold-blooded cruelty, da Gama looted the ship with over 400 pilgrims on board including 50 women and kids, locked in the passengers and an ambassador from Egypt and burnt them to death. They offered their wealth but were not spared. Da Gama looked on through the porthole and saw the women bringing up their gold and jewels and holding up their babies to beg for mercy. It took four days for the ship to sink, killing all men, women, and children.
When da Gama arrived in Calicut in 1502, he hung 38 fishermen; cut off their heads, feet, and hands; and floated the dismembered corpses onto the shore. In Muslim Mombasa in 1497 Da Gama forced some Muslims on board and tortured them with boiling oil. In 1498 he indiscriminately fired at civilians on Muslim Mozambique Island.