The late Abdurrahman Wahid once stated that, “Nahdlatul Ulama [NU] is like Shiite minus Imamah; similarly Shiite is NU plus Imamah.”
There have been too many similarities between the two, as the position and role of kyai is somehow similar with the position and the role of the imam in the Shiite tradition. The main contrast between them is that in NU, the concept is visible in the form of accepted culture, while in Shia, it takes the form of theology. Perhaps this is the substance of his statement.
The tragedy of Sampang is once again a strong slap to our religious harmony and it is very unfortunate that our security apparatus was not able to prevent this atrocity before it occurred.
The attack on the Shiite Islamic boarding school should have been prevented if the police, as well as local government, had a greater concern about this important issue.