The Taliban (Pashto: طالبان ṭālibān "students"), alternative spelling Taleban, is an Islamic fundamentalist militant movement mostly of Pashtun tribesmen. It ruled large parts of Afghanistan and its capital, Kabul, as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan from September 1996 until October 2001. It gained diplomatic recognition from three states: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The main leader of the Taliban movement was at one time considered Mullah Mohammed Omar, and Kandahar is considered the birthplace of the Taliban. However, the true co-founders of the Taliban are Sami ul Haq and Fazal-ur-Rehman.