Why were the European nations interested in controlling the Muslim lands?
European nations were interested in controlling Muslim lands for thousands of years because prior to large scale sea exploration, the only trade route to India, China, and other areas in the East was the overland route across Eurasia. This route passed directly through the Near East, controlled by Muslims for a long period of time. Europeans wanted to control this region to allow for the easy, safe, and cheap passage of trade between East and West. Muslim nations, on the other hand, wanted to control this region to influence and profit from European trade.