Although it went largely unnoticed during the tumultuous civil war the regime lost last month, Islamists were at the heart of the fight, many as rebel commanders. Now some are clashing with secularists within the rebels’ Transitional National Council, prompting worries among some liberals that the Islamists — who still command the bulk of fighters and weapons — could use their strength to assert an even more dominant role…

Some Islamists are blunt in expressing resentment about fellow rebels.

“Secularists don’t like Islamists,” said Ismail Sallabi, an influential cleric who is among nine leaders commanding rebel forces in eastern Libya. Before the revolution, he said, he had never held a weapon. “They want to use Islamists in the fighting stage and then take control.”…

Military commanders estimate that 50 to 70 percent of the rebel fighters have Islamist roots and that Islamist leaders will need to be given a prominent role in the next government. Some say the estimate is exaggerated. Many rebel fighters interviewed said Islamists may have taken leadership roles, but they are in the minority and if they take control they would turn on them.