The Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs says it will allow a controversial commentator on Islam and the Middle East to address its meeting Thursday night despite calls from Muslim and Arab advocacy groups to rescind his invitation to speak.

Daniel Pipes, the founder and president of the conservative think tank Middle East Forum and a widely known critic of what he calls "militant Islam," is scheduled to address a paying audience at the Baltimore World Trade Center.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, both based in Washington, have asked the organization to cancel Pipes' invitation. They say he misrepresents Islam and engages in what amounts to Islamophobic speech.

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