Australia's top spy has launched an impassioned appeal to the nation's half a million Muslims not to mistake the Abbott government's counterterrorism push as "fighting Islam".

Amid simmering fears in the Islamic community about proposed new terrorism laws, ASIO boss David Irvine has given a rare one-on-one interview with a Muslim radio program in which he said he was "utterly outraged" by a recent newspaper headline that talked about "fight[ing] Islam for 100 years".

The interview with community leader Jamal Rifi for the Lakemba-based Voice of Islam radio station underscores counterterrorism agencies' eagerness to reach out to Muslims as they grapple with the threat posed by dozens of Australian radicals fighting in Syria and Iraq.

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