Initially, the Alexandrians welcomed the harsh threats against the Jews, but when they saw the results of their being carried out, many changed their opinion.
The treatment was horrific. Many, including old men and young brides, were transported to a neighboring city by boat. Their necks and feet were fettered. They were confined under the deck in total darkness.
On arrival, they were enclosed in a hippodrome with monstrously high walls. When the king learned that the prisoners' compatriots were gathering to lament, he ordered that be given the same punishment. All Jews were to be registered in order that, eventually, they could all be destroyed. The scribes spent 40 days attempting to complete the registration.
Meanwhile, the king celebrated with feasts his false gods and slandered the true God. His mood changed when the scribes said the task was impossible, that there were too many Jews to count. He threatened them severely accusing them of accepting bribes. They responding by saying that their supply of paper and pens had run out.
God was aiding the Jews.
Long, long ago, majority populations resented what they considered intrusion into their social customs.