Who are the Taliban? Are they good people trying to fix their country? Or cruel people trying to control it? From the start, they were men originated from the Islamic religion trying to revolt against the Soviets controlling their country. Over time, instead of protecting their country from foreign aspects and threats, they tried taking over their own country, Afghanistan, and areas around it. The history of the Taliban includes its origins, supporters, enemies, their leaders, their beliefs, and the world’s opinion on the Taliban itself. There is more to the Taliban than the bombings and their traditional beliefs and tactics. The Taliban was a key piece in the then current situation with the unstable power and foreign influence over Afghanistan. The Taliban started in the 1990’s by a small group of Islamic fighters who had rebelled against the Soviet Invasion in Afghanistan. The small group of Islamic fighters were joined by younger Pashtun Natives (Laub). The Soviet occupation in Afghanistan lasted from 1979 to 1989, and in the 1990’s the Mujahideen officially started. After the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan, the Mujahideen resolved into the Taliban, Mullah Omar became the leader of the Taliban (“Taliban”, Gale). The Taliban word originates “from a Pashto word meaning ‘students'” (“Taliban”, Gale). Overall, the Taliban grew significantly throughout the 1990’s and made the Soviets retreat from Afghanistan.An important aspect of the Taliban origins is how they became powerful and the rules they had upon Afghanistan. During the Soviet occupation in Afghanistan, the Islamic fighters received funds and support from the U.S. C.I.A. and Pakistan’s I.S.I to drive the Soviets out of their country. After the Soviet withdrawal, the power balance was uneven and the country was unstable. The Taliban promised to restore order and power in Afghanistan and won major support. In 1996, the Taliban controlled Afghanistan’s capital – Kabul and declared they were the new government. From 1996 to until the 2001 overthrow, the Taliban controlled about 90% of Afghanistan’s land (“Taliban”, Gale). The Taliban supported prohibitions on anything they thought was un-Islamic, such as behavior, requiring women to wear the head to toe burqa, and mean having long enough beards (Laub). The group also “banned television, music, and cinema, and disapproved of girls aged 10 and over from going to school” (“Who are the Taliban?”) – because it was deemed un-Islamic and Western. In Pakistan and Afghanistan (the Taliban had influence over Pakistan) the Taliban encouraged Islamic punishments such as public executions and amputations of crime (“Who are the Taliban?). The harsh rules set by the Taliban and how much they controlled of Afghanistan, showed how much they impacted their country over the course of the decade.The Taliban had support, from funds and allies; and enemies throughout their influence of the Middle East. In 1979 through 1989, when the Mujahideen was resisting the Soviets occupying Afghanistan, the small group received support and funds from Pakistan and America. In 1998, only the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia recognized the Taliban government (Laub). Pakistan was the last country to break political ties with the Taliban (“Who are the Taliban?”). Of the 11th of September in 2001, “the attention of the world was drawn to the Taliban in Afghanistan following the attacks on the World Trade Centre…” (“Who are the Taliban?”). On October 7, 2001, a U.S. led alliance invaded Afghanistan intending on obliterating the Taliban, and the Taliban had fallen by early December. The Taliban’s revolts against the U.S. and NATO (intergovernment military alliance between North American and European states) forces continue to fight after the Taliban’s collapse. The Taliban funded most of their efforts through a huge opium trade after the Taliban fell in 2001 (“Taliban”, Encyclopaedia…). After 2001, the Taliban’s efforts were partially supported by narcotics trafficking, though Omar was against the production, the Taliban still extracted the drug (Laub). It is commonly believed that the Taliban gradually appeared in religious sanctuaries, and were paid for by Saudi Arabia. In recent years, the Taliban had taken refuge in Pakistan and grew stronger there and in Afghanistan (“Who are the Taliban?”). Currently, one of the more lethal terror groups at the moment are called Haqqani, the group allied themselves with the Taliban in the mid-1990’s and grew from there. The leader of the group was a mentor to al-Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden (Simmons). Without the support and funds from other groups and countries and their overpowering enemies, the Taliban couldn’t have grown and collapsed as it had.The leaders of the Taliban are important to the group’s history because these people are who made the decisions to give the Taliban its reputation of who they are as a group. Mullah Omar, a veteran of the Soviet revolt, was officially the leader of the Taliban in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 and was nicknamed “commander of the faithful” (Laub). Another terrorist organization at the time was named al-Qaeda. Omar gave al-Qaeda refuge if they did not anger the U.S., Osama bin Laden, the founder of al-Qaeda, broke that condition when he directed the bombings of the U.S. Embassies in East Africa in 1998 (Laub). In 1999, “the U.N. council imposed sanctions on the regime the Taliban for harboring al-Qaeda” (Laub). The Taliban refused to give up the al-Qaeda leader after the 9/11 attacks to the U.S., led to an attack on the Taliban by the U.S. and their allies (“Taliban”, Encyclopaedia). The terrorist group “was subsequently driven from power” (“Taliban”, Encyclopaedia). In July of 2015, the Afghanistan intelligence service found out that Mullah Omar had died in 2013 in a hospital. The Taliban further confirmed that. After Omar’s death, his deputy, Mullah Mansour took over as the head of the Taliban. In May of 2016, Mansour was then killed in Pakistan by a U.S. airstrike (“Taliban”, Encyclopaedia). After Mansour’s death, he was replaced by his deputy Mullah Akhunzada, a deeply religious scholar (“Who are the Taliban?”). The rulers of the Taliban organization reflected on the group’s commands and decisions.The Taliban was criticized with numerous human rights and cultural abuses (“Who are the Taliban?”) but are beginning to officially peacefully talk with the government. The world “largely disapproved of the Taliban’s social policies, and only a few countries recognized the regime” (“Taliban”, Encyclopaedia). The world primarily disliked how the Taliban ruled and punished. Like the elimination of women from public and social life, the destroying of non-Islamic artifacts, and the harsh and cruel punishments on criminals, and the Taliban giving refuge to al-Qaeda (“Taliban”, Encyclopaedia). In 2001, the Taliban destroyed the famous religious Buddha statues in Afghanistan, it was internationally disapproved. One of the most disapproved attacks by the Taliban was when a schoolgirl, Malala Yousafzai was shot, but not killed on her way home from school in October of 2012 (“Who are the Taliban?”). Talks and peace negotiations began between the Taliban and the Afghanistan government in July 2015 for the first time (“Who are the Taliban?”). The world knowing and criticizing the Taliban for their methods had an effect to talk about having peace with one another.In all, the history of the Taliban pertains to why the group started because of the Soviets, and how they grew tremendously over a period of time, their supports, allies, enemies, leaders, the rules originating from their religion, and the opinion of the world of this group, this reflected how it affected Afghanistan and its history. In the beginning, when the Taliban was still the Mujahideen, and just resolving into the Taliban, they were good men trying to fix their country after the Soviets left, but as many people believe, gradually, overcame with power, the Taliban wanted to control their country instead of fixing Afghanistan.