Tanya Plibersek and Malcolm Turnbull have slammed allegations from Sydney protesters that Thursday’s anti-terror raids were a plot to demonise Muslims.

Senior federal MPs have rejected claims made by a small group of protesters in western Sydney that Thursday’s counter-terrorism raids were a conspiracy to attack Muslims.

“This certainly isn’t any sort of conspiracy, this is based on intelligence work that’s been going on over some time,” deputy opposition leader Tanya Plibersek told Channel Nine.

She said the vast bulk of Muslims in the community are patriotic Australians, and our best allies in the fight against extremism.

“Most of (ASIO’s) good intelligence comes from members of the Muslim community who are talking about family members or associates who are engaging in behaviour that is troubling to them,” she said.

About 200 people rallied in Lakemba on Thursday night to demonstrate against a series of pre-dawn police raids made in Sydney and Brisbane they described as an example of oppression against Muslims.

“This group of people yesterday, nut jobs for sure, but also a very small section of the community,” she said.

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the public must make it clear they will not be intimidated by terrorists.

“This is not a time to be scared. This is a time to be determined and united in our resolve to support police, security services and all the instruments of government to protect the community,” he said.