"Taalib" is an Arabic word meaning schoolchild. The Taliban were the generation of students in Afghanistan's religious schools who were too young to join the Mujahedeen (the older students) in their war against the USSR. Having sat out the war in an environment isolated from reality, the Taliban built an Islamic worldview similar to Saudi Arabia's Hanbali Sunnism, except they practice it like they're on crack. Then they took over the place. Be afraid. Be very afraid.